Thursday, March 14, 2013

Literary Adultery & Brand Spankin' New Ideas

I was routinely going about my day on Tuesday, putting a dent in the seemingly insurmountable pile of laundry when it hit me.


Just like that, I was forcibly knocked upside the head with a new idea for a story.  While I did feel committed to my current project and wanted to prevent any jealousy issues, this new idea was just that: new.  It was shiny and enticing and calling out to me like that last piece of cake, sitting lonely on the counter.  How could I possibly resist?

So that's where I have been for the last two days- huddled in the corner with my laptop, living out my own literary tryst.  I can't help feeling a little guilty, since I haven't worked on the project that I've been faithfully tied to for two years at all.  What will it think?  When I go back to it, which I inevitably will, will it even want me anymore? 

Ok, enough melodrama.  But it did make me think; is there a policy on what to do with new ideas when you are knee-deep in a current project?  Should they be forgotten so as to focus on the task at hand?  Or should they be given your full attention so as not to forget what could be the next great idea?  I think a strategy somewhere in the middle would work best for me.  I don't want to lose it in the clutter of my mind, but I also don't want to forget where I was going with my first idea.  I wrote down about twenty pages or so to give me plenty to go on when I am finished with this project and ready to tackle another.

Now I'd better give my neglected first-manuscript some attention before it leaves me altogether.

What do you all do when an idea strikes in the middle of something else?