Cast adrift, on an ocean of possibilities. I’m spoilt for choice.


I don’t know if it’s the weather, the choice that’s available or the simple fact that I hardly sell many books these days. Whatever the reason, I find myself struggling to find the motivation to write anything much at the moment.

Except for this blog post, OBVS!! Whatever else is stopping me from writing, I can always find the inspiration for a blog post. Especially if it concerns my inability to write anything more meaningful. 

Having spent some time trying to talk myself into sitting down and doing SOMETHING USEFUL, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s not another possibility. The fact that, as I write, I keep getting side-tracked by possible new stories. I’m sure that exploring these fresh ideas is stopping me from completing what I’ve already started.

As I’ve written more, I’ve found that I get ideas for new plots and scenarios much faster than I can type them out. Not only that, they nearly always appear as a by-product of what I’m trying to do. Frequently they’re completely unconnected to where I started from. An idea for say, an Andorra Pett plot point (crime) might lead me to a new psychological thriller, or a piece of research for one plot can reveal a fact that takes me in another direction entirely.  

This becomes a problem when you have (as I do) several works in progress. Many of these are sequels or continuations of the stories of certain characters. I want to get these finished to get closure on a character’s journey. And because readers (who are why I do this) have asked for them. Which means that it’s important to get them done. Before my audience loses interest.

Not forgetting the part-finished standalone stories that I already have. They may in themselves become series one day. I want to get them finished to get more of a sense of where they might be headed.

BUT, these new ideas distract me from getting on with finishing any of the works in progress. Like shiny, just-unwrapped presents, they take over my mind, repeating in greater and greater detail. Until there is no choice but to write some notes down. Once I do that, I’m lost and have to keep going. The problem is that you never really know whether they will develop or get to around 5000 words and just peter out. While it’s true that I then have short stories (and I love them), it also leaves the bigger question: – are they worth bothering with at the expense of everything else that needs doing?

All I want to do is catch up, instead of which, I’m getting further and further behind.

You could say that writing this post has prevented me from getting on with one of my novels. While that’s true, at least I haven’t had an idea for a new series while I was doing it.


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2 Responses

  1. Stephen Bungay

    The rabbit hole beckons, with its many tunnels and distractions it has more than one way out, more than one path to completion. Remaining in the warren, ah therein lies the danger. Chalk-mark 🙂 where you’ve been and those passages that look interesting and hope that the mark remains so you don’t.

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