A Good Problem to Have

Last month I spent most of my creative energy on the 3-Day Novel Contest. It took me most of the remaining month to recover. Now it’s October, and I’m itching to jump into the next project.

But which one?

The morning of the 3-Day, I mentioned to a friend that while I had my outline for one novel written out and ready to write for the contest, I was much more excited bout a different idea that had been percolating in my brain. Write the one you’re most excited about, he said.

Good advice.

A couple of weeks ago, Amy McLane mentioned she felt torn between two projects, so I passed on the advice to her. Work where her energy pulled her. It worked for her as it’d worked for me for the 3-Day.

But now I’m looking at my list of story ideas and having a terrible time deciding which one to tackle next. I love all of them, and they’re all screaming at me like hungry toddlers wanting cookies. I don’t know which one to feed first.

It’s a great problem to have, right? It’s sort of the opposite of writers block. But I’m finding it equally paralyzing.

Because they’re all wanting my attention, none of them are getting my attention. It’s easier to tune out the lot of them, and do something else entirely. Something like painting or web design. Something that doesn’t involve writing. But that’s not the answer. That’s not a writer’s life.

Thinking back on my friend’s advice — write the story you’re moat excited about — I’ve decided to take a Robert Frost approach to determine which story has the most energy. Remember the poem? Two paths diverged in a yellow wood?

Well, four (or fifteen) stories converged in a writer’s brain. I’m going to spend a little time walking down each path and see which is the one I should travel by. Which one garners my energy.

I’ll let you know how it goes in a month. 🙂