Can we be TOO creative? #writing


I worry a lot. Like what if the end of the world isn’t zombies but vampires, post-nuclear mutants or Democrats? I also used to worry about not being a real creative person, but just some hack who only has the most commonplace of ideas, but is too dull to know the ideas are dreck.

I don’t worry about that second one any more, though. My real problem is that I am too creative. And that wreaks havoc on my writing productivity.

Here’s how it goes. One morning I have a killer idea for a writing project and I get started. I get enthusiastic for a day or a week or for two weeks. And then it hits. Another killer idea. And it’s better than the old idea. Or at least it’s less familiar and and seems all shiny and new. And so I switch projects and have one more abandoned writing project for my file.

What about you? How many creative projects do you have lying around half-finished? Do your new ideas get in the way of your old ones so nothing gets finished?

I remember reading an employment ad where the prospective employer was looking for a worker who was a ‘self-starter.’ I guess that’s better for business than a worker who had to be started by a supervisor with whips. But when you are working for yourself, maybe it’s better to ask if you are a self-finisher. Because finishing is the thing. No one ever gets the first three chapters of an unfinished novel on the best-seller lists.

I wish I could trot out a shiny new solution to this old problem that would fix everything without any effort or willpower. But that’s not the real world. You just have to make yourself finish things you start. And I’m terrible at that. Long ago I had writing projects that I worked on for weeks before I gave up on them. Lately it seems I can come up with a brand-new writing project every writing day. I guess that’s why I write short poems and blog posts so much. At least I know how to finish those.

What about you? Does your burgeoning creativity get in the way of getting your creative projects finished? Do you have a good way to overcome it?

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