Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When to Ignore Your Muse

You'd think it would be great to have a Shiny New Idea (SNI) fall into your lap, but it's not always a good thing. Don't get me wrong--I'm super excited about SNI and the hubby thinks it's a really cool premise. But...I haven't finished revising my current manuscript. The same ms I'm bringing to a writing retreat next week in order get feedback on it from editors/agents/etc. Yet the lure of this pretty, new thing is so tempting. I'm one of those writers who loves first drafts, and er, intensely dislikes tenth drafts. First drafts are fun for me, and all the drafts after it are more like work. I know some writers love the revision part of the process, and while I do love watching my book evolve and become better, I've discovered I have a slight problem with impatience.

I'm solving this problem by jotting down notes on SNI...and occasionally obsessing about it in the shower. But  for now it's back to work on revision number gazillion of my current ms. I guess there's something to be said for having motivation to finish it, so I can move on to the next thing.

Anyone else struggle with this issue, or does everyone love revisions more than I do?  


  1. I can totally relate! I've had a SNI for about 6 months, just waiting for me to write it, but I'm getting another book query-ready, so my poor SNI has been stuck in the stew pot.

    I keep a digital tape recorder with me and when ideas pop into my head I can talk it out (usually incoherently, as it's usually the middle of the night) - I have about 45 digital files waiting to be transcribed - which will be tedious, but it's nice to have a place to hold my ideas while I finish Not-as-shiny Old Idea.

  2. Wow! I can't believe it's time for the retreat already!

    I find Scrivener is so great for all my SNIs. I create a new project and type in notes in a "notes" folder so that it's all there for me when I'm ready to start working on it. I have so many of these it's not funny, but it's nice knowing I have a stash of ideas.

  3. I am slogging through revisions again/still. But if I get a SNI, I usually write out a paragraph or so to get a feel for voice and save that in a folder. Then I attempt to lock it away for later. I really need to try Scrivner.

    Kristi, you SO need to finish your current MS!!!

  4. Marisa--I feel your pain. That's where I am right now.

    Valerie--THAT is a fabulous idea! I need to start a Scivener file today for it.

    Lacey--good luck w/ your revisions, and yes, I know I need to finish this thing. :)


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