“How do you choose which idea to use?”

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this. I did a book review the other day, but aside from that, it’s been radio silence on here. So, where have I been? Honestly, kind of busy. My work in progress hit the 80,000 word mark yesterday, putting the ending just a little more in sight. I’ve also been kicking back and relaxing a lot more in my free time, catching up on some quality time with my Xbox.

In truth, I’d like to blog more, but after an eight hour working day and a couple of hours’ writing, often the last thing I want to do is open a blank document. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing this, it just means I need to figure out a balance that works for me, so I can keep generating content at a rate that makes you readers happy, while allowing me to keep my sanity.

This post today is a sort of follow up to this one. Some time after posting that, a friend asked me a pertinent question, that I handily used for the title of this post. In case you missed that big-ass header, it was “How do you choose which idea to use?” The conversation went a little like this:

Friend: “How do you choose which idea to use?”

Me: “I’m pretty sure it said in the post.”

Friend: “No, it said you choose one or two from thousands, but how do you actually choose?”

Me: “Oh.”

Friend: “Yeah.”

…And that was it. I projected a level of calm, but quickly changed the topic because inside my head was like this.

And then this.

Let me tell you my friends, I did my best to forget about it. But much like an annoying child or the impending threat of Freddy Kreuger, it kept me awake at night. I tossed and turned trying to get it to go away and leave me alone, but the question persisted, boring into the edges of my brain at ungodly hours of the day.

So I found an answer. I tend to choose the idea that scares me the most.

In the past, when choosing between ideas, I’d always pick the one that seemed easiest. My rear view mirror is a litany of unfinished projects. A neo-noir cyberpunk story, a Silent Hill style haunted town novel, some really awful Star Wars fan fiction. I’ve got it all somewhere, most of it never going beyond chapter one, none of it to ever see the light of day.

I’m sure part of it was due to lack of planning and direction, but for the most part, I just got bored. The ideas were easy, they were recycling tropes from ideas already done, and not in a new or interesting way. So now I’ll pick the idea that scares me the most, because it’s the one most likely to excite or interest me.

Hell, 80,000 words in, and I’m still scared of my current WIP. The ending is just around the corner, and I know what’s going to happen, but not where all the characters will end up. But that’s another post. Either way, I’m scared, and that’s what excites me the most.

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