I have an even better idea!

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New ideas are delicious and tricky. 

Sometimes they feel like a gift — like those first forsythia branches of spring, a burst of yellow so bright against the grey, you can hardly believe it’s real.

And sometimes they come to interrupt our focus. They test our commitment to our main project, and try to persuade us with their verve, their cleverness, their moxie.

When you make a commitment to finish your book, magic happens. 

Any story that involves moving through transformation or into understanding will require your endurance and resilience as you write it.   

When you commit to finishing a story, it will eventually ask you to describe a situation from an uncomfortable angle, or tell the truth about something you might be afraid to see.  

This discomfort usually happens at an unconscious level. It might not be obvious to us at all. 

What you might hear instead are thoughts that sound like: 

I don’t know what I’m doing

This doesn’t make any sense

I’m bored by my own writing

Nobody wants to read this

Or

I have an even better idea

When a new idea comes while you’re writing something else, honour it. 

Write it down on a clean piece of paper and put it in a file. Decorate the file with stickers and collages and label it “DELICIOUS NEW IDEAS.”

Then keep your promise to the book you’re still writing. 

Ask your book for help, if you’re feeling alienated from its energy. Write your story problems and questions in a journal before you go to sleep. 

Tell your work in progress there is another idea that wants your attention, but you’re going to stay, because you honour your agreements. Promise that you will see it through as best you can, and then try everything, even weird stuff.

Pay attention to magic, to the alchemy in your work. 

Let your story bring you into understanding.

Let your commitment bring you through transformation.


Photo credit: Erik Mclean from Pexels


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2 comments

Angie Gallop

Great suggestions re: posing questions to your current writing project before going to sleep. I'll never forget being in a workshop with Gail Anderson-Dargatz and having her tell us that she tends to "have affairs" with new ideas as a project nears completion. That's been a helpful way of looking at it for me. :)
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Sarah Selecky

Ha - that's a good way of putting it! Writing is a relationship.
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