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Last Week’s WW:  Pushing Through

Okay, so, I know it Thursday.   I’ve been really busy lately trying to find a new survival job.  At the end of this week, I will be technically unemployed.  I had 4 interviews yesterday.  I had some the day before and some today.  Couple that with applying to places online, and the stress of being broke, and you can hopefully understand why this post was late.  I was even worried enough to accept a temp assignment next week.  I have to find a way to pull myself out of bed at 7:30am (I went to bed at 4am last night) and work a 40 hour week.  Yuck.  In addition, I condemned myself to working 8 days in a row.  Training tomorrow, my last 2 days at the restaurant this weekend, then 5 day work week.  For an unemployed person, I sure feel like I’ve got no time.

And that feeling right there can be the productivity killer.  Reality is, I do have time.  I might be stressed and tired, but I have time.

On the flip side, I keep thinking of new stories that I want to write.  I’m working on the first story in my Slumber Series (name may change), but I also decided to turn the first book of Skyland into a short story and enter the Writer’s of the Future contest again.  That honorable mention really got my writing spirit soaring.   My creative wheels have been turning.  Story ideas keep popping into my head, and I want to write them all, at the same time.

That’s probably not a wise idea.  For one thing, there’s only so much one person can do at any given time.   When writing a story, there is a lot that you have to keep in mind: where the story is going, what scenes and details you want in it, how the character sounds, the style of the book/writing style… My concern is that working on too many projects at one time might muddy things.  Your desperate hero in one book might start sounding like your sarcastic antagonist from another.

But, when you first get the spark of an idea, it wants to become a fire, or else it might go out altogether.  There have been plenty of times when I think, “Ah, man, I had a really good idea for a story.  What was it?  Dang, I forgot.”

How do you avoid this?  Tend the embers.  By which I mean, write it down!  Get an idea, make a note of it.  No reason not to.  I don’t care if it’s an online list on your blog like mine, a voice memo, tattooed on your skin (but maybe best to stay away from that one), however you have to do it.  Don’t let that idea slip away.  Keep it somewhere that you can find it again when you have the time and attention for it.   When you come back to it, that little hot coal can be coaxed back into a flame.

If it goes out completely, if it’s just smoke in your mind, something without a shape or that you can vaguely recall used to be there, then it might be gone forever.

So keep that fire going!  Write down your ideas.  They might not all be winners.  You might come back to one later and wonder what you were thinking.  But, at least it’ll be there, just in case what you thought was spark turns into a wild fire.