I’ve become superb at starting stories. Mountain climbers, Sherpa guides in tow, are gathering at the base of my Work in Progress (WIP) pile in the hope of being the first to plant a flag on the summit. For reasons I haven’t yet fully identified, my imagination is in overdrive, spewing out plots and characters faster than I can keep up with them. I have a computer file titled “Random Musings” that has grown to over fifty pages of book titles, characters complete with accompanying traits and idiosyncrasies, plots and twists in a variety of genres, and some pretty interesting endings. What I don’t have are finished books.
Obviously, my problem isn’t the notorious ‘writer’s block.’ I’m writing every day. It would just be nice to get beyond the first three or four chapters of something without a new idea sprouting in my mental garden. Yesterday, I even wrote the first chapter of a nonfiction book.
Some might say I have the ‘shiny distraction’ syndrome, but I don’t think it’s that either. When a new story idea hits, I have to write it down before it vanishes like a sock in the dryer. Unfortunately, once I do that, I rarely return to the story I was working on.
Right now, I have no clue how to break this pattern of unfinished books begun with the best of intentions. I suspect a locked room with intravenous feedings of caffeine may be looming on the horizon.
This isn’t like me. I’ve always been focused and driven. Currently, my mind is the ball in a racquetball game.
If anyone has any solutions, realistic or not, I would love to hear them.