I don’t actually think it’s possible to have too many ideas. Too many ideas at the same time? Yes, that could be a problem. Learning to focus on one project and stick with it to the end isn’t a new problem for writers, and certainly isn’t one I haven’t faced before. But, like any good villain/addiction, it keeps rearing its ugly head.
I must learn to narrow my focus from time to time.
And I have done this. I did it for my web-series (and was set to shoot it when my producer/guy-giving-me-money-to-do-it bailed on me), and I did when I was submitting for the ABC Writing Fellowship. And I do at work.
Deadlines. That’s what these events have in common. Well, how do you impose a self-inflicted deadline? What am I going to do for myself if I achieve it? What am I going to do if I don’t achieve it? At the end of the day I’m not going to punish myself.
I like me too much for that. #dumb
Instead, I’m trying to build healthy habits in my life. One of them is daily writing. If I can’t manage to focus this Gemini-addled brain, at least I can work it on the regular. And by the sheer quantity of work I produce, I’m bound to finish something without a deadline. Right?
PS: On a side note, here’s an excerpt from a recent short story I wrote for the Ventura County Writer’s Club Short Story Contest.
Marnella Millhouse Maddison-MacGuffin was born with only one eye. “She only has her right eye,” people would say; which of course was ludicrous. How can you have a right eye, if you’ve never had a left. It was simply put, her eye, and she was quite happy to call it that, thank you very much.
“Who needs two eyes anyway,” she often thought. She could see as good as any dual-eyed person she knew. She often saw better than most, in fact, with the small exception of peripheral vision, but that’s why necks exist.
And she could see as clear as day that stealing an Ogre’s treasure was a bad idea. But did anybody ask her what she thought of the plan? Of course not, that would have been smart.
“It’ll be alright Marney, there’s nothing to worry about. Just go play with your dolls.” Well, she didn’t want to play with her dolls, and she didn’t want to go trouncing into the Ogre cave to rescue the morons either, but it was obvious that someone who could actually see what they were doing had to get involved.
So, there she stood, knee deep in snow and ash, peering into the darkness of the Ogre cave, with her father’s broken sword by her side. The wind bit at her neck. Couldn’t risk raising her hood. Whatever peripheral vision she had, she would need.
“Well, here goes,” she said as she entered the Ogre’s cave.