Monday, April 23, 2012

In Which I Try To Discipline Myself

I have this disorder that keeps me from finishing my writing.  It's something that I've found is quite common among my writing friends, Startitis.  The symptons:

  • More ideas than is healthy for a person for a storyline 
  • After about 20,000-50,000 words into the story or after the first draft, you hear the siren song of yet another storyline that promises to be better than the one you're currently working on
  • You sit down and listen to that siren for a little while thinking that if you ignore it, the story will be gone and end up writing more than you thought and putting your previous story on the backburner
  • You wonder if the story that you're currently working on is just a dead end one and isn't the best seller you were hoping for
  • You tell your friends that you started a new story last night...weekly.
You get the picture.  But what's the cure?  Finishitis.  This is a rare one and I only catch this bug once in every few stories.  Ok, maybe less than that.  The secret is to manufacture this cure with placebos such as:

  • Butt glue (not real stuff but symbolic, silly)
  • Plugging your ears and humming when the siren calls
  • If you do hear the siren, write down the bones of it and put it away
  • Make goals and keep yourself accountable 
 Ok, time to take my own advice.  I have a few stories in the works including the one started a few nights ago (but it sang so prettily!).  I am going to pick one and listen to its siren song until I can't stand it anymore and then some.  But which one?

  1. The knitting devotional
  2. Camping book
  3. Silver hands story
  4. Byte story
  5. Summer series
  6. My experiences in Christian radio
  7. etc., etc., etc.
My goal is to write a practice book and go through the process of publishing it to work out the kinks before putting out the "good ones."  After all, in David Gerald's book, Worlds of Wonder, he said that your first million words are all practice. 

To start with (and finish) I'm going with the knitting devotional book.   This will be a series of maybe 7-14 devotions which has to relate to knitting and fiber stuff.  I already have a few finished that I shared in India and ideas for more.  There's no storyline to have to be consistent with since it's a series of short pieces.  And best of all, I already have an ending. 

Wow, the pressure is already building and I'm feeling twitchy realizing that I WILL NOT work on other stories until this one is finished.  Hold me to it, K?

From our local sheep festival

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