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  1. punkyeleven

    punkyeleven Member

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    How to choose one project?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by punkyeleven, Dec 8, 2020.

    It's driving me crazy. I've written one book last year and since then I feel like I lost all the skills I got like writing regularly, having plan, knowing what to write. It's been a year and I can't for the love of God choose one project. I try, because I know in my case it's the only way I'll finish it, but after some time I just get so bored of it, even when I push and write it. It feels like nothing *clicks* right. I have tons of ideas and notebook with almost 100 ideas, but I can't choose one to actually finish.
     
  2. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Frazzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    I had this exact same problem, but I found that having all your projects listed in one place helps.
    I started a progress journal here and it was super helpful. People do their progress journals in various ways, but for me, I listed all of my active projects, a brief synopsis of them and their word count.
    eventually I narrowed it down to about 4 i bounced back and forth between, then I cut that in half and only focused on 2. Then 1. the 1 I focused on, I finally completed the first draft of it!

    For me, though, sometimes i'm more in the mood to write different things, so focusing on 1 thing at a time is a struggle. It was actually more helpful for me to focus on 2 things... so if I hit a writers block in 1 WIP, i can jump to the second one and work on that until I'm in the mood to write on the other.
     
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  3. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    I struggle with this a lot. I have several book and script ideas and find it hard to focus on which should be worked on first. It's a moot point at the moment as my main focus is a documentary series, but when that's finished I have 2 screenplays and a novel I'm aching to work on. I deep dive so need to pick carefully. But then trying to pick them leads to procrastination.
     
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  4. SlayerC79

    SlayerC79 Banned

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    Maybe you're a perfectionist and you don't want to waste your time by dedicating time and effort to an idea or a project when you could just as easily dedicate it to a better idea or project. It's entirely possible that having so many ideas is overwhelming you and it's that what's ultimately putting the brakes on your productivity.
     
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  5. DriedPen

    DriedPen Member

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    Being a guy, I cannot multi-task well, so I tend to stick to one project. But we as humans like success too so if I get really stuck, I will write a short story as a break, then get back to the novel.
     
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  6. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This seems like a proper strategy. Stop moping about your lack of ability to choose, and write something short and to the point. It'll give you something to focus on apart from your current dilemma. You'll have a finished product later, so that makes you feel good and bolsters your self-confidence that you can finish something—which makes you more likely to stick with your long projects that you take on.

    The more I think about it, the better I like the idea. Thanks!
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A to-do list of 100 things to write would haunt me and probably prevent me from being so productive on any 1 thing because there are still 99 other things on the list. I'm sure you created this list because you didn't want to forget your ideas, but I have found good ideas stick. My advice would be to ditch the list. You're always going to think of more ideas, better and new ideas. The weight of so many unfinished works can distract you and prevent you from actually getting through much of anything. Yeah, personally, I think that long list you have could be a major part of the problem.
     
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  8. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

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    One thing I found has helped me was to focus on projects which I knew what to do with, rather than ones I liked the idea of most. If you're having difficulty sticking to ideas, picking one that you know how to write means you might actually get somewhere with it before you get distracted.

    Also, as deadrats said, at a certain point you do just have to stop and start cutting out some ideas.
     
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  9. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    Whereas I found that keeping a list of future books is essential. Ideas are a dime a dozen, I have an insanely long list of stuff I thought would make part of a good story over the years and occasionally, I go through the list and create a couple new books out of it, but I simply cannot do without having a list of books I will complete in order. If I don't do that, I'll just gravitate toward the most recent book and never get to the rest.
     
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  10. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Yes, but you have a system that has proven to work for you. You finish the books you write and are quite prolific. :)
     
  11. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    I always find that when I have a decision to make and don't know how to make it, it's because I don't know enough about the issues involved. Once I know enough, the decision makes itself. If you need to choose between many creative ideas, you could try expanding and elaborating on each one until you find the one that works best and you can foresee making it into a novel.
     
  12. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    And how do you think I got that way? :) It honestly doesn't matter what system anyone uses so long as it works. You just have to keep trying things and refining your methodology until it's efficient. There is no magic bullet. It's all trial and error.
     
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