New ideas are always compelling. They crowd in on me as I excitedly string together each plot point until I have a whole new novel. I sit down at the keyboard and dash out page after page after page...and then nothing. I stare at the blinking cursor and nothing. I go away for awhile...a few days perhaps, a week, and then I open the document again. I re-read pages, crack a smile at something particular amusing or sometimes brilliant, my fingers hover over the keys. I type a sentence or two and then something distracts me. I have a thought so I dash off to look it up on the internet which turns into a three hour affair and before I know it's time to go and I save my paltry few lines.
Rinse and Repeat.
I've been thinking a lot this week about what sparks my imagination and why I can't seem to focus. I have two really great WIPs right now and yet I just can't get excited about them. I'm assuming that I can't get excited about them because if I were, wouldn't I be practically salivating to write more? Why is that I can research and plot a helluva story but when it comes down to writing it I fail so miserably? I know I'm a good writer. Countless numbers of people have told me. Agents have told me. Editors have told me. So why can't channel that positive feedback into finishing something already? I don't want to take ten years to finish like I did with Rebel Heart. I always thought that I didn't take Rebel Heart seriously because I didn't take myself seriously. I was a hobby writer, it was something to amuse me when I was bored. But perhaps that is the answer. Maybe that is all that I am. A hobbyist. I practice a hobby that I do well when I'm bored or I have time and nothing else is demanding my attention.
But I don't want that. My husband sees me as a published writer. He thinks it is my calling. But how can it be? Do I simply lack focus or am I trying to make my talent into something it cannot possibly be (or maybe doesn't want to be)? Somehow I'm thinking that agents and editors don't take kindly to one hit wonders. They want someone who can sell on down the line, for years to come. A cash cow.
Perhaps I should take heart. I never stick with one thing for more than a little while. Jobs? Nope. The longest I've been in a position is 2 1/2 years. I got bored at month 6. Even with the "dream job". I often asked myself if I was just flighty? Not exactly a good thing. I can't go through life being that, but for the record, when it comes to people I'm loyal to a tee. I have only a small group of friends, the inner circle, so to speak, and while I'm not the best correspondant, I'm faithful to the end.
So what is wrong with me? It was suggested to me once that I may be highly intelligent which accounted for my ability to achieve tasks quickly and get bored easily. I laughed at this person. Me, highly intelligent? I can barely add and subtract. I've basically refused to go to graduate school because it requires taking the GRE and I would probably fail the math section. So that leaves...ADHD perhaps? I've often wondered if I have it. I'm certainly well acquianted with it as my husband was diagnosed a few years ago. Brief episodes of hyperfocus? Check. That would definitely account for the single minded focus I get when developing a new novel. For craps and giggles, I took an ADHD test online and it advised me to seek a medical professional's opinion. Hmmm... But aren't we all a little bit flighty? Right? Anyone?
What keeps you from writing? Any tips or tricks that keep you typing away when it's the last thing you want to do?