Oooohhhh! Shiny! (aka Stick-to-it-iveness)

We all know it happens.  We’re set on a project and are chugging along working on it when something else pops up.  Something pretty and shiny and new and we want to drop the current project and jump on this new one.

Why?

Because the new one is exciting.  It’s different.  It promises all sorts of things.  It is full of potential.  It is a new beginning.

But sooner or later that brand spanking new idea is going to stop being fun and is going to become just as much work as your current project.

Think of your novel as a relationship – a long term relationship.  You fall in love with the idea of it, you spend time getting to know it (plotting), and you commit yourself to it, to seeing it through, “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until ‘The End’ do us part.” 

(Does anyone really type “The End” when they finish their novel?)

So, you’re in this committed relationship with a novel.  Or series.  Or trilogy.   And along comes this new little plot bunny and it is ooooh so sexy!  And it smiles and winks at you, and whispers sweet promises in your ear. 

And you’re tired of the current project.  It’s hit some snags.  You’re always fighting with it.

And this new thing is so sweet and nice and agreeable and doesn’t place any demands on you.

Except it does.  It demands your attention, your time, your energy.  And because it is new and sweet and exciting, you give them to it.  Happily, you let it distract you from the project you are committed to, let it lead you astray.

And sooner or later you abandon your current project and move in with this new one and set up housekeeping with it.

Or maybe you stay with your current project out of guilt and just keep seeing this one on the side.

But sooner or later the new wears off and it’s not as shiny as it was, and you’re right where you were when it wandered into your life, slogging along, trying to push through the rough patches, trying to stay together despite the fights…

And then another shiny bunny winks at you and blows you a kiss or maybe even buys you a drink.

And another commitment blows away in the wind.

And before you know it you have a string of failed marriages and relationships novels behind you.

And, yes, I’m as guilty of this as the next person.  I have a huge batch of WiP (Works in Progress) files.  I have an even huger (heh, what do you know? Word says that’s a word!) pile of plot bunnies with more being born as we speak.  (And having just gone through my Plot Bunny bag all I can say is they really need to start practicing birth control other than the Hoping Method.)

But I am working on clearing some of the backlog.

I did get one finished and self-published. (Song and Sword.)

And I am committed to getting rough drafts finished of all the books in the Academy of the Accord series by the end of the year, even though I’m in a rough sloggy bit in one of them right now that is throwing me behind schedule.

Then I’m going to finish and publish The Other Mages trilogy next year and then start the endless slogging through editing the Academy of the Accord books.

And I’m not starting anything new except during NaNoWriMo in November.  I’ll use the Camp sessions to finish rough drafts of things already started.

Why?

Because you can’t publish what isn’t finished.

And that is the ultimate shiny.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Oooohhhh! Shiny! (aka Stick-to-it-iveness)

  1. I really like the idea of thinking of a WIP like a relationship or marriage, and as the new shiny ideas as an affair, like seeing someone on the side… it might make me feel even guiltier when I want to abandon something old for something new, maybe it’ll help me stick to the “not so shiny anymore” when something new and shiny comes up.

    But do I have to break up / get divorced from the WIP to start the new shiny thing? This could get messy. 😉

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