Well, it happened to me as usual, right on schedule. Just as I reached the halfway mark of #NaNoWriMo and was filled with self-doubt over the project I was writing, a Shiny New Story Idea popped its cute little head up at me in the middle of the night.
This happens to me every year. Sometimes several times within the month of November. I have all these awesome ideas swarming around my brain, but sadly, I have to keep writing this other book, this book that is fraught with problem areas and plot twists and characters that aren't working.
If you have ever been in a similar situation, even if you're not NaNo-ing, I have found an outlook and a game plan for these times.
1. Know that your Shiny New Ideas are not as awesome as they seem at first glance. All stories are fraught with major problem areas once you get into the depth of actually writing them.
2. Take half an hour and write down everything you can think of concerning the Shiny New Idea. Then you're not missing out on ANYTHING by taking the time to finish your current work in progress. You can always come back to this Shiny New Idea once you have finished the book you have made a commitment to.
3. Imagine yourself dropping your current project, starting on your Shiny New Idea, and then getting caught up on some impossible barrier after about a week. How horrible would you feel if you had to give up on BOTH projects.
4. Stop trying to compare the two stories in your head. As you know, or have known before the Shiny Idea hit, all stories are like apples and oranges.
5. Call the Shiny New Idea exactly what it is: Distraction. It's the part of you that's scared to move forward on your current project trying to self-sabotage. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN! Your Shiny New Idea could indeed be awesome, but do yourself a favor and finish up your current project before making that decision.
I'm not sure if that helps anyone else, but it's been cathartic for me to get it down and read it over for my own good.
Are you facing any kind of distractions from your current writing project this week? What's getting in your way and how are you dealing with it?