Somewhere in the archives of Highlights for Kids, there’s a segment of “Goofus and Gallant” where Goofus (the proverbial naughty child) puts too much food on his plate at once and doesn’t finish it, while Gallant (the proverbial model child) only takes small helpings he knows he can finish.
When it comes to creative writing, I find myself acting more like Goofus. If I come up with an idea for a new project, I immediately start writing it down as much as I can. Then, after awhile, I lose momentum (aka Writer’s Block) and the project is doomed to join an already long queue line of unfinished projects that I haven’t exactly shelved, but I’m not exactly fiendishly working on. I do work on them, but only sporadically.
That’s not the most streamlined, aerodynamic method of writing (and finishing) books, now, is it? But let’s face it, I can’t stop the ideas from coming when they do, and if I don’t get the basic gist of them on paper, they’ll probably be lost forever in my goldfish-like (or regal-blue-tang-like) memory.
The nice thing about this mostly impractical writing process of mine is that if I lose momentum on one story, I have plenty more to fall back on. Variety is, indeed, the spice in life! When I get bored with my band of time travellers, I can move on to fanfiction; when my inner critic tells me to “get a life,” I can move on to my paranormal-mystery-adventure story; and when I run out of brainstorms there, I can go back to that queue line and select another story to work on, even if it’s that cringe-worthy one that’s been in line since I was twelve. 😛
Some of these stories may stay in my queue (do you have any idea how hard it is to spell that word???) line for a long time, but I’m committed to writing them. They’ll eventually get done.