Tackling writing distractions, part 1 – Other lingering ideas

Well, we are down to less than a week until NaNoWriMo! I think I’m going to stay up on Friday night and churn out some words at soon as the clock hits midnight (I know, I know – nerd alert). I’ve been less than enthusiastic about this upcoming month for a few reasons – delays in the self-publishing of my first book, getting a serious cold/infection that put me out of commission for awhile, etc. So, I’m trying to stay positive. One thing I’m definitely concerned about is handling distractions.

As weird as this might sound, I get easily distracted by other story ideas. I often have a few projects in process, and when I get bored with one, I’ll switch to another. I don’t want to do that during November, because I think it’s important to devote all my time to the NaNoWriMo project. But I already know that my other 4 outstanding projects are going to be lingering in the back of my mind, insisting that I write them.

I also get distracted by new ideas. New ideas pop up everywhere, and I love the process of developing an idea. Sometimes I think I like it better than actually writing, which is why I probably take so long to finish stories.

But not this month, fellow writers! This month, I’m vowing that I won’t let undeveloped, unwritten ideas distract me from completing my project. If an idea won’t go away, I’m going to write it down in my notebook, label it “December,” and put it away. Likewise, if I get an idea for a scene in an existing project, I’ll outline it in a few words and put it away.

What about you? What things distract you from finishing projects? And more importantly, how do we stop that?

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