Hello, there's going to be a lot of rambling and derailing here, but you'll get the idea soon enough. I have too many ideas, and It's frustrating. I'm managing two pen names right now, and I might need at least one other in the future. I'm writing around 4 to 8 different book series in the first two. One pen name deals with family friendly action, adventure and fantasy. The other pen name deals with more adult themed romance, drama and fantasy/dark fantasy. The third I might need in the future is going to be for traditionally published works, probably for family friendly novels. --- Right now, I'm struggling very badly with trying to sort out all the stories I want to write into novels. I'm juggling over 10+ novels floating in my head, and I have a hard enough time to sift through them all in order to list them down. I adore writing the character themes, sketching out the plot, building the histories and describing the creatures, and other behind the scenes 'dev planning,' but I have not written a single word, or named a single chapter. I've been festering with most of these ideas since 2010, and some of my older work has been in the cooker since I was beginning to write, in my early teens. I struggled to come up with good ideas earlier this year, but even those are coming back to haunt the pen. I can sometimes focus on one thing at a time. It's easier to talk about them out loud and brainstorm with a friend, like choosing names for characters, naming places and locations, talking about how things work and finalizing the mechanics of certain worlds... But as soon as I sit down to write, whether it be on paper or in a text document, I panic. I have to make a huge effort to even decide on which I want to write down. I get the worst head aches trying to cycle through all the rubbish in order to write. And this is just to get everything out of my head. It seems like, over the years, my creativity and confidence in writing has degraded slowly over time, ever since after my mid teens. (I'd say around 17.) It seems especially worse this year, going through the longest creative slump from June to September. I can't finish a chapter. I can write down notes, and I can brainstorm, but it seems painfully impossible to even put a single word down in the actual novels I plan to write. I've tried writing 500 words a day to kick start it, but that was always random stuff that had little foundation. I tried giving myself prompts at night and writing them the next day, but I still write other, 'easy' stuff. I never tried to outline anything big. I'll try that, but It sounds intimidating. I used to write Fanfiction. I had no idea fanfiction was a thing when I began. As such, I wrote fanfiction the way I would usually write, so when I began to uncover the big dirty secrets of fanfiction, (that it was awful, bad, trashy, etc.) I felt excited. I wanted to be the next big indie writer who wrote fanfiction like she would have wrote real books. I wanted to set a new standard and clean up the tarnish on fanfiction's name. It was fun and engaging, and it helped me learn a lot about how to manage writing, chapter releases and being active online, but I never actually planned. Now there's around ten 9,000 to 12,000 worded fics out there, rotting from a year ago, and I can't find the spark to revive them, and around 20 smaller fics that are littered through the orphaned works pile. And yet, even though they're pretty much dead, they still haunt the back of my mind. They still 'count' as unfinished work. On some subconscious level, I have some mini-editor version of me that says "you'll come back to write on these later." So I have 10 fics (and 20 zombie fics) on top of 10+ longer, official work that I'm juggling in my head all day, all the while trying to brainstorm and map out my career. It's exhausting and awful. If I had known how hard writing was, I would have taken better care of my writing a long time ago. The feeling I get when I go to write is hard to describe. Sometimes it's just not knowing what to do, sometimes it's a vast feeling of a chasm falling away, between where I am now and where 'finished' is, sometimes it's a small room where all the characters are metal-rock-yelling. Other times, while I'm waiting for the writing to begin, I just look back at the past week/month/year, and realize how little I accomplished. I could have done so much more. It's a frustrating problem to have. I hate that everything isn't organized or neatly planned out, and that I can't keep to a schedule. It seems like there's a magic trick to writing that I can't master, or I was a writer before, when I was young, but I lost what made me a writer, and it took my clarity and focus with it. Sometimes I don't mind. Sometimes It's alright, and I still have a fun and engaging day, but every once in a while, this bleak listlessness can be a struggle to deal with. I want to write more. I want to 'finish' something, in the hopes of relaxing the tension this stress has on my brain. In the meantime, I'm glad I vented all that out. It really helps some. If you've taken the time to read all that, thank you. I deeply appreciate it, and I'd be glad for any help. Advice, tips, warnings, recommendations, anything. --- TL;DR - How to manage multiple stories/book series? How to choose which stories to work on, and which to save for later? -Writing scheduling tips? I write best from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, then again at 10:30 PM to 12:00 AM, on weekdays. (Considering if I don't play games on the computer during that time.) On weekends, everyone is at the house and making noise and parading through all the rooms. >__< - Opinion on multiple pen names? - Writing partners/co-authors; something that I should look into? The large, official projects are going to be seperate, multi-booked series, ranging from 3 to maybe 6 books per series, and some will have extensive backgrounds, histories and world mechanics that I'm writing from scratch. - Should I stay dedicated to my fanfiction? Should I just start new fanfictions? - Think it'd be best to put off/quit fanfiction for a while, or can I try to manage fanfiction while I work on my official projects? I like it, because It can give readers a free and fun place to 'test drive' how I write and to judge how well I write. (My fanfictions are going to be considerably smaller than my official works. Fanfiction: between 2,000 and 11,000 words, up to 16,000. Official works: between 30,000 and 180,000 words.) - Biggest projects first, smallest projects first or most relevant projects first? - Should I try to publish a project as soon as I deem it finished? - Any tips at all on how to combat this phenomenon?