Creativity as Procrastination

At times, I am a bit OCD.  When I encounter something new, that is to say something that is shiny, it can hold my fascination for a very long time.  I might obsess, I might absorb, I might hunt around the new object of my ardour on the intarwebz to learn more about it.

Thankfully these periods tend to be fairly short-lived.  I eventually lose interest in whatever the object du jour is, and return to the mundane world.  Possibly elements of my fascination will linger, and maybe a new obsession will become a new hobby or habit (such as my lunch time running seems to have become… I was even out running between the snows this afternoon!).  Other times it will get cast aside and forgotten, possibly for months, years, or even forever.

Sometimes this absorption is quite consuming, and I’ll spend a lot of free time thinking about it, whatever it, might be.  I remember a brief flirtation with Sudoku that had me hunting for puzzles whenever I came across a newspaper, even ones that did not belong to me.

How much worse, then, when that new, shiny, thing is not outside in the physical world but is inside my head?

Two days ago, I had an idea.  This idea is very, very shiny. It is, in fact, the beginnings of another entire novel series if I want to give it a go.

I’m quite excited by the prospect, and have been fiddling with the various world elements, characters, pro and antagonists.  This setting has a lot of mileage in it, even touching the politics of the real world, something I tend to shy away from involving in my writing.

But… and this is a pretty big BUT, I have a novel to finish.  I have a short story to finish.  I have a free-lance project to finish.  Being that I work a day job, I don’t really have time to start a new series.

Do I?

When writing, I wonder how many (successful) writers have multiple manuscripts on the go.  Would it be a misapplication of my creative focus?  but of course, it is where my current interest lies, so would I be foolish to pass up this inspiration and force myself to create in other arenas?

And, in my less charitable moments, I wonder if this OCD moment has been brought by my lovely subconscious that seems to have a real aversion to endings.

Ending my first novel was like pulling my own teeth, even though (or perhaps because) I’d figured out how I wanted it to end long before I got there.  Maybe it was fear of the next step, I don’t know.  God knows I hate revising.

Still, even when I’m working on my short story (a Christmas present I have to finish) I find my mental gaze wandering, peeking into the dark corners for another look.

It’s just so damn shiny…


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