On Process: Too Many Ideas, Too Little Time

Usually creative people complain about creative block.  I don’t.  For the most part, I have the opposite problem.  Too many ideas.  Not enough time to execute them.  I have this constant fear that I shall die suddenly without sharing all the pictures in my head.  That would be a great incentive to work if it weren’t for the fact that my poor health is a huge brake on my capacity to work.

And then there is the fact that I have the mind of a butterfly.

The Buddhist masters often refer to the concept of ‘Monkey Mind’.  This is what your mind does when you try to meditate, and your thoughts bounce around like gibbons, and feel impossible to control.

Welcome to my world.

Actually, that is not entirely true.  I can be deeply committed to one idea for a short period of time.  The most I can normally manage is about three months.  Then I bounce off to find another sparkly thing.  Most of the time, I come back.  Occasionally, I manage to actually finish something.  Occasionally it gets shelved for good, or the idea gets incorporated into something new, because its too good to waste.

I’ve been socialising a lot this summer, and people have repeatedly asked me the same questions:

‘How’s the writing going?  What are you working on at the moment?’

Below is the honest answer (i.e. the one I don’t give nice people at parties because its too complicated to explain, especially if they’ve never met me before.)

The things I am currently working on:

  • A series of short stories about John and Sherlock in a stable relationship
  • Finishing a work about Sherlock’s pursuit of public sexual humiliation because of his guilt about his faked suicide.
  • A novella about a Viking Princess
  • My novel about Victorian sexuality, currently titled ‘The Butler Did It’ (Please could somebody suggest a better title, I’m getting desperate!)
  • My journaling ebook

Other ideas I have churning about in my head include:

  •  A possible novella about a young man getting over the death of his male lover in a road accident
  • A short story based on a line from a deliciously naughty Johnlock fanfic I read the other day, The Red Box by Cleo2012
  • The third Evenlode novel (vampire gangsters ahoy!)
  • A Loki fanfic set after the end of Thor 1

(And this is before I have even begun to tell you about the paintings I want to make…)

I was explaining this smorgasbord to a friend, and she said ‘How on earth do you handle all that?’

The answer is, ‘I have no idea.’

I suppose I have a good memory, but the older I get, the more I am going to need to employ my writing notebooks to record all this.  The truth is that ideas are far easier to come by for me than the wherewithal to execute them.  And there just isn’t enough time in my day to get all this done, and execute my duties as wife, friend, aunt, guidemother, part-time carer to elderly, sick in-laws etc etc. and still protect my health.

Triage is necessary.

I just have to grab one sparkly thing and run with it for as long as I can.  I have to choose the most important thing to me at the time.

Most creative people complain about creative block, but the other side of the coin is equally disabling, and I know for a fact I am not the only one who experiences this problem.  Choosing which is the best idea to work on.

If you have any ideas on how best to deal with idea overspill, please let me know in the Replies section.  I’d love to know what you do.

Happy Creating,

EF

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One thought on “On Process: Too Many Ideas, Too Little Time

  1. Puggle

    This problem is at it’s worst for me after shows. I tend to run around buying up new supplies and kits for all the amazing projects I want to do. Once I get it all home and unpacked I don’t know which to start with first and then just don’t and go off and work on something I already had. I would really hate to sit down and think about how long I’ve had some pieces sitting around waiting to be started.

    Reply

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