Sunday, June 01, 2014

Too many ideas, not enough time

There isn't enough time to write every story I want to write. I have several hundred stories-in-progress and each day I seem to add to the list. In an effort to become more efficient without quashing my flow of ideas, I recently reviewed many of my stories-in-progress, with an emphasis on confessions.

I found 52 confessions that I felt I could finish without undue stress. In each case I had written at least 1,000 words or had written a rough plot outline. Now, when I sit down each morning to write confessions, I select a story from the list and work on it until it is complete rather than bounce from story-to-story as I often used to do. Confessions are written for a specific market, so I know where to submit each one as I complete it, and I've already completed and submitted five of the stories on the list.

I also found three stories that have no specific known market--a noir story, a ghost story, and a fantasy--and I've been doing the same thing with this much-shorter list during my evening writing sessions. I've finished the noir story, am about to complete the ghost story, and will work on the fantasy next.

Most of the erotica I write during my mid-day writing session is written for specific projects, so I don't have a list of stories-in-progress that I dip into. Rather, I write erotica based on the due date of whichever anthology is up next.

So, now, when I sit down to write--regardless of which of the day's three writing sessions it happens to be--I know what I'm going to work on. This has eliminated a lot of fumbling around and helped to increase my productivity.

At the same time, I keep myself open to new story ideas. I jot them down whenever I have them, but I only jot down enough to remind me what I hoped to write. Then I return to the work-in-progress.

At some point, I'll have to create new lists to work from, and that's a good thing because it means I've finished writing everything on the existing lists.

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