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Thursday, June 3, 2010


S.O.S! *Miss Adventure shoots off a flare and waves hands madly over her head*

So, my projects on the table are finish editing my completed ms and resubmit to an agent who asked me to, as well as finish my current wip which is only six scenes away from completion. Six blasted scenes!

And here comes those annoying little ideas and they creep in, little by little, until I’m forced to at least write them down. And once I’ve gotten the ideas written down, I think okay, now I can get back to work. But I can’t! My mind strays to those enticing ideas and I scream at myself “Only six more scenes!” Come on, you can do it!

I’ll write another line and stop to think about what’s next...and they creep back in. So this blog is a cry for help! How can I focus on the projects at hand when I have all these other brilliant ideas slithering around in my mind tantalizing me to come and write them!

So, I think to myself what can I do to stay focus other than large doses of coffee...I turn off the TV, the radio, welcome the silence and attempt to get this done. Nope, it doesn't work. The silence allows the little voices to get louder. What else can I do to help me focus on what needs to get done. I’d love to know some new ideas, or old ideas...or any ideas. HELP‼


  1. LOL, Melissa. I don't know if I'm the best person to answer this question as I lost my focus completely about a year ago when I got pregnant. My mind doesn't so much wander to other projects as it does to just nothingness. LOL! If you need help clearing your mind and thinking of absolutely nothing, I'm your gal!! Hah!

    However, BB (before Bella), I was quite focused. My mom drilled the whole "You can't play with these toys until you've cleaned up these other ones" concept into my head my whole life. So that's how I feel about my WIPs. I just can't allow myself to work on something new until the old is done. I may jot down notes or even write a chapter if I'm inspired...but I only do enough so that I remember the inspired thought when I'm ready to really begin working on the piece.

    I have no other tricks other than sheer will power. LOL!

    Great post! And good luck!!

  2. Thanks Jerrica! I'll have to think of it in those terms. I can't play with that toy until I've cleaned up the other ones LOL. I love that.

    And your focus will come back as Bella gets a little older so no worries. Of course, after the third kid, you simply lose your mind LOL. So my suggestion is to stop at one. =)

    Thanks for stopping by, and I'm not playing with that toy until I clean up the other ones LOL.

  3. I've tried working on multiple projects at once. It doesn't work for me. My brain wants to go one way and one way only. LOL. So when those ideas come along for a New Shiny Project, I write them down. If I still can't focus on the current project, then I spend a little more time with the NSP. Maybe I'll do a little characterization, or some plotting. Eventually, I'll get enough of it down that the voices simmer a bit, and then I can get back to the project at hand. It has seemed to work pretty well for me, all things considered.

    Other than that, I'm not sure what to suggest.

  4. I can work on multiple projects, but I try not to. Dividing my attention means a project will be completed at a later date.

    When I'm mid-project and have a really good idea, I open a new document and write down all of the bits and pieces in my head, maybe do a little fleshing out. If it's a scene I'll just write it, save it and come back to it later. Sometimes I have to empty that mental reservoir several times. It's not a fool proof way of dealing with new ideas but it's what is working currently for me.

    Good luck!

  5. Oooh, those new ideas are such teases! Temptresses really. :) They promise something delicious that the stodgy old thing you're trying to finish can't: excitement! LOL

    Sometimes you just have to do the "la-la-la" fingers in the ears trick, because as wonderful as a Shiny New Idea is, it's hard to top the satisfaction of finishing a manuscript.

    Good luck to you.

    Donna Cummings

  6. I tell you what, when you figure it out, let me know! I can generally get away with writing down the new idea and a couple of pages, but sometimes I start to panic that I will forget whatever brilliant plot trajectory has presented itself, and then proceed to obsess about it until I write more notes/pages.
    Getting those scenes done is probably going to come down to strict will power. Good luck!

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  8. Ha! You gotta love typos. It was simply too glaring to leave it there LOL.

    Mindy, I wish I could have such a one track mind. Especially today. You're lucky.

    Cid! I think you're right, I'm just going to have empty this reservoir one more time before I can focus better.

    And Donna, I'm picturing the "la-la-la" fingers in ear trick and giggling. It reminded me of my two year old last who put his hands over his ears when I mentioned the bath lol. So cute.

    So glad everyone stopped by and you know I think I'm just going to write a little more on this idea and then attempt to focus on my project again. Thanks so much for stopping by and helping me out! I've always said there isn't a better community than the writing community because there are so many others willing to help. You guys are the best! Thanks again.

  9. I think you're right Erin! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I think a moment like this calls for outright threats. Just. Finish. The. Book. Melissa.

    Will be hassling you on twitter today. :o)

  11. I have two days a week set aside for writing. I consider it my job, so I structure it like my other job. I set schedules for myself and create a to-do list of what I'm going to accomplish that day. In my other job, my boss expects me to finish my work for the day. In writing, I'm my boss and I'm very difficult to work for. For me, it's a mindset. This isn't a hobby even though I enjoy it, so I make myself write no matter what. :)

    When I have a new idea I indulge my imagination when I'm driving and later jot down ideas. I continue to make notes along the way without actually writing the book. Usually by the time I finish one book I already know the basic outline for my next book and start on it. If an idea is really teasing me, I write the first few pages or the first chapter. That usually cures me for a bit.

  12. LOL Heather, I believe your little trick did the job as I finished chapter 19 today. Yay! One more chapter to go!

    I think I just needed to write a little on the new project to get it out of the system. It worked and I finished the chapter. One more to go and I'm done.

    I'm like you Michelle, I set goals and treat it like a job. I give myself four days a week to write and any extra time I can devote. But I think I got right to the end and fear stalled me. Fear of being finished. It isn't the first book I've ever finished but something felt different this time. I can't explain it. But either way, fear is not going to win! All great advice and I thank everyone for stopping by. You've all been a big help and honestly the little push I needed today. So thanks, from the bottom of my heart. It's nice to have someone who'll give that slight little push when we need one.