I recently read a blog post where the author wrote about how she has four different projects going (a screenplay, a memoir, a book, a TV show) and therefore has gotten nowhere with any of them. This sounded vaguely familiar, convicting and, ahem, scary.
I wouldn't say that I am generally someone who is afraid of commitment, but with my writing, it's another story altogether. I have, in various stages:
a non-fiction book based on The Fun JarSo this person I don't even know has me wondering where I should spend my time and energy. And wondering why this is such a hard decision for me. Surely most people don't spend this much time thinking about what they should do...
a partial novel (?) centered on a character in her early 20s
a set of book reviews that are possibly marketable with some editing, effort and elbow grease
a concept for a young adult fantasy novel
an idea that my blog posts about B's butterfly would make a great article
an allegorical story of my own journey
the best short story I've written so far - and actually submitted, but need to re-submit since it didn't win the contest
oh, and a commitment to speak at a women's retreat one month from tomorrow
I was sharing my thoughts on this struggle yesterday with some friends and asked whether I should focus my energy on what I want to do or what I think is the most marketable project. I would love to have something published, if only for the affirmation that I have written something that other people want to read. But I have found that creativity, for me, is not a hot water tap that just needs to be turned on. Sometimes when I open the tap, nothing dribbles out. And the past month has left me unable to really attempt tapping into my creativity. Have I lost the opportunity to do so? Should I just give it up as a lost cause, write only for this little blog and focus my energy on preparing to homeschool A next year? That seems a bit defeatist, if practical.
I am trying to move past the paralysis that I fear is setting in because I'm not really powerless, even if I do feel incapable of acting. My thought at the end of yesterday is that perhaps I should settle on one short term goal and one long term goal. Then I could work on editing book reviews alongside drafting a book proposal. This simply requires that I make up my mind about which of the various ideas flitting around my head are worth pursuing...