news writing

The Problem With Ideas

I have a lot of problems with having too many ideas at once, and trying to follow through with all of them (at least partially). The beauty of a blog is, the articles aren’t too long, so I can pound one through when I have something to talk about – usually these are about two single-spaced pages – and wrap them up with a little linguistic bow at the end. But when it comes to longer work, like a novel or other long-form projects, there’s usually a lot of planning and re-working to make them functional and not… y’know, total garbage.

In that spirit, I thought I might elaborate a little on some of my current projects, some of which will likely never see the light of day. But knowing somebody is reading this, coupled with the idea that somebody might be interested in some of these ideas, maybe I’ll be bugged enough to bring more to fruition that I otherwise might.

Yay for self-imposed pressure!

First, the novel. I started the process or reading through the first draft of my manuscript, and I’ve determined that while I do like where it ended up, the first half or so needs a significant overhaul, so I’ve decided to start working through the entire thing again, only this time with the added knowledge of my characters, their setting, where they began and where they’ll end. I didn’t know nearly as much about my main character at the beginning as I did at the end (which is what always happens), so I can re-work the earlier portions into something a bit more… readable.

Next, in the spirit of Boss Fight Books, I’ve started a small, game-specific memoir piece. It’s in its early stages and I have no idea how long even the first draft of it will be by the time it’s finished, but the first few pages seem to hold a lot of ideas and promise. There might be more on this as the project progresses, and even if Boss Fight may not be interested, I may still be able to do something with it down the road.

One of the story ideas I’ve had in my head for years I’ve started putting to paper, and currently sits at a paltry six pages. My novel project currently titled “Arcade” has been mulling about my head since I started working on it around 2010, and I just haven’t been able to give it the attention it deserves. Maybe I will over the next year, at least to give it more form and direction, but the process is inspiring. I love projects like that one, and hopefully giving it form and character will end up being something people like.

Another idea for a short story, which may or may not be able to be sold, is an RPG-inspired piece I can’t give away (since it’s so, so short and blunt). It’s gotten some footing on the page, but I don’t know when it will be done.

And finally, at the moment I have a game for review that I don’t know if I’m allowed to properly discuss, so I’m not going to. The game itself is alright so far, and I have the review to finish and publish. This is usually what stops me from working on fiction – playing through and reviewing a game – but it’s its own reward when I’m done with it, which will be done within the next few days (hopefully).

I don’t know why I like the anxiety of “I can’t work on so many things at once, none will get done”, but I do. I like having to try and juggle multiple projects at once. It’s not “healthy”, I know, to try managing so much at once (especially when coupled with a regular job and recurring gig), mostly because it means I only sleep about five hours a night and don’t have much to show for it until far down the line – if anything. But I can’t stop myself from doing it. I need not the split focus, but the anxiety. I thrive on it. I’ve done things I’m immensely proud of – even with nobody else has seen them or wanted to know about them – because of that personal pressure. Having too many ideas at once is a burden I’m proud of. Does suck when many of them are flash-in-the-pan kinds of thoughts, but hell, it can take a notebook of terrible ideas to fish out the gem of the bunch.

And those are three of mine, with a delightful “for-profit” article all thrown into the mix. It doesn’t even bring to light some of the “to the side” thoughts and stories, like my “Lottery” story or jotting down/practicing stand-up stories, jokes and routines.

*sigh* I love the pain. It only goes to show you you’re doing something.

I hope anybody that relates can know you’re not alone with your head always running, even when it’s saying stupid, stupid things. Stand tall, my friends.

(Also, the day I’m posting this is “technically” a day early, but making sure this is as well known as possible: January 27th is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Union, and it deserves to be recognized as such. It’s estimated that as many as 1.1 million of the 1.3 million that were sent there died in that camp alone, and on this day, the captives sent there were released to Allied forces.

You can read more about this here and here.)