I dunno about you guys, but I get distracted easily when writing. It used to be really, really bad. I’d start a novel, get 10,000 words in, and stop because a shiny new idea took priority.
Way I figured it, I wasn’t making money off this. No one (except Beta Krissy) was waiting on that old story. Why not chase after the new idea? I know which one is more fun to write, after all!
This went on for literally years. It got especially bad in college, when I was focusing on getting a degree and finding a “real job,” and writing was strictly a stress reliever. I never believed I could make this a career, so why bother finishing something?
I tell you what, though. You can’t win if you don’t play.
If you never finish a novel, of course nothing will ever be published.
Keep in mind, there were some benefits to starting that way. My writing style improved drastically, since I did nothing but write. And because I flitted from idea to idea, I was able to experiment on a broad variety of genres. Eventually, one of them stuck.
But if you’re planning on making this a career–and I believe that the only thing stopping that dream is your mindset–you need to buckle down and finish a project. Because in case you didn’t know, you won’t find an agent willing to take on a debut author’s half-finished novel.
I know it feels like you’re wasting other potential ideas. What if you’re writing a book about dragons, and another idea about unicorns steals your focus? How do you know the unicorn book won’t be a masterpiece?
Maybe it will be. But finish the stupid dragon book FIRST. Because at the very least, you’ll be that much better of a writer when you tackle the unicorn story.
So that’s my Monday advice. Finish that novel. Start a new Word document of “ideas,” and add the unicorn book to the list.
I promise, it’ll still be waiting when you’re done.