Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Author's syndrome, a cure?

Does anyone else ever experience this? You're writing something you're supposed to be writing -- something hard. Maybe something you're under contract for, maybe something you've promised yourself you will write. And it's really hard.

Suddenly, a new idea pops into your mind -- not an idea for the book you're supposed to be writing about, but another book. A MUCH BETTER book. You tell yourself to get back to work on the novel you're supposed to be writing, but the new book would be SO MUCH better! Many reasons for this come into your mind, too, both to do with how bad the book you're supposed to be writing is and how GREAT the new one will be.

Usually, when this happens, I waste a lot of time resisting temptation, getting distracted by the new idea, thinking about it when I should be working, talking to my friends about it blah blah blah.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a cure.

I almost feel like saying -- "Try to guess what the cure is"
and then hiding the answer with blank lines, because the cure is so simple.....

But that would be childish. This is the cure:

Actually start to WRITE the new novel.

Guess what?


I think part of the fantasy (the unconscious part, perhaps?) of the new idea is that this other book is going to be so much easier, because it's such a great idea that it will practically write itself as you get swept along by inspiration blah blah blah.......



Naomi Canale said...

I can totally relate with the blah blah! My poor friends and family have to listen to me do this about new book ideas all the time. Thanks for the smiles today :)

Meghan McCarthy said...

I laughed at this because I do it all the time! Good advice. I, too, have gone ahead with the temptation and started the new idea. Usually you're right. It's no easier.