I Have Decided…

that I need to hire someone to make decisions for me.

Seriously.  I hate making decisions, especially if they involve other people because no matter what you decide someone is going to not be happy.  (This even applies to “Where do you want to go for lunch?”  How can such a seemingly innocuous question lead to a thirty minute debate and no lunch?)

I don’t even like making decisions that only involve myself because what if I make the wrong one?  I’ve been in that situation for the last couple of weeks and it finally came to a head on Friday, with a final decision reached on Saturday.  Was it the right one?  Only time will tell, but I am feeling a lot less stressed now that a decision has been made.

One of the main differences between real life and novels is that real life can’t be edited:  once you’ve made a decision, you are stuck with it, for better or worse.  At least in writing you can edit and delete and rewrite it to get the ending that you want.

But decision-making… Yeah, I hate it.  Even in novel writing. And, let me tell you, in most definitely affects my writing!

I hate naming novels.  This is especially bad as I’m working on a 12 book series and a trilogy.  That’s 15 titles that I need to come up with.  (I should start a pool on how many times I change my mind on the titles.)  Working titles are one thing, but the final title, the final decision?  You’d think a life depended on it!

Another problem is that many of my novels have multiple versions of the same scene: this is going to be a major pain when it comes time to edit.  (Yes! I am looking at you, Book Two of the Academy of the Accord series!  I have completely lost count of how many versions I have of the scene where Wellhym’s secret comes out.)

Lack of decision making ability also makes it hard to decide what to write. (I’m currently heavily focused on finishing rough drafts off all the books in the Academy of the Accord series, which makes this one not quite so bad at the moment, but once those books are done I’m in trouble!)  This problem once led me to write two books in one month for NaNoWriMo… not the sanest thing I’ve ever done, although it was fun in a twisted and demented sort of way.

And then there are the Sunday Snippets.  I really enjoy doing them and reading what others have posted, but trying to decide what to post is not as easy as some of the participants make it seem.

Editing, of course, is its own decision-making nightmare.  Move this scene or leave it where it is?  Cut it out completely?  Does it really serve a purpose?  Who would be the best character to say/do this?  When should XYZ be revealed?

I have the same problem in other hobbies as well.  Deciding on wallpaper for a dollhouse?  Decorating a real house would be easier!  And don’t get me started on deciding on floss and fabric colors for counted cross stitch.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve started the butterfly by Alessandra Adelaide only to change my mind on the fabric or floss or both.

AAN butterfly


They’re everywhere.

And they never get any easier.


Filed under writing

2 responses to “I Have Decided…

  1. historysleuth1

    Sure, some decisions require more weight than others, but as far as the dollhouse paper, those kind of things go, if you say to yourself — will anything horrible happen if I pick flowers over stripes? No it won’t. Force yourself to pick one without weighing it too much. Write it down. Look back on all the decisions you made that day with out pondering it forever. Then be proud of yourself about it. The list will get longer day by day if you make an effort of it, until you don’t need to do it anymore. If you start taking control of those little thing the bigger things get easier.

    I finally excepted I can’t make everybody happy, nor is it my job to do it. I used to stress over a lot until I reminded myself, no matter what, the sun will still come up tomorrow morning and life will go on.

    Wishing you the best!
    History Sleuth’s Milk Carton Murders

    • I love the list idea. Thanks! (I’m totally addicted to lists.)

      No, nothing horrible will happen with dollhouse wallpaper, but having spent a fair amount of time, energy, and chemical solvents removing fugly pink carpet from said dollhouse I really want to be sure I know what I want! LOL (Seriously — the carpet was a cross between Pepto-Bismol and the washbasins that hospitals use.)

      Long before Ricky Nelson sang “Garden Party” my maternal grandmother used to say “You can’t please everyone so you might as well please yourself.” (That doesn’t work if two people are trying to decide on a place to have lunch, at least, not if they want to have lunch together.)

      But, yeah, I get what you’re saying. And that’s more or less what I did with the major real life decision I had to make.

      And now I think I’m off to make some lists…

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