It seems strange to be talking about new beginnings when I’m smack in the middle of my WIP. Then again, it’s while you’re slogging through the muddle in the middle that new ideas spring up out of nowhere.
You’re staring at the computer screen, ransacking your brain for your next sentence, and suddenly a plot for a completely different story pops into your noggin. Strange new characters whisper in your ears while you labor to get old Klaus and Gertrude down off the mountainside before the volcano erupts.
It’s so easy to get swayed by these new project possibilities. I once read a funny piece that compared the allure of a new story idea to meeting a new romantic interest. The temptation to dump your current dimming flame and take up with that hot, new prospect can be overwhelming.
What should we do with these new beginnings that crop up when we need to be focusing on finishing our current novel?
First, be encouraged. You may feel like your brain is an empty paper bag with nothing but a hint of Sesame Chicken wafting around inside it, but creativity lurks amid those dried-up bits of rice. Use that spark of a new story to remind yourself why you write, that you CAN create, and that God has more exciting plans for your writing journey.
Second, write it down. Throw just a few words into a document detailing that mind-blowing plot or those compelling characters. You’ll feel better knowing you’ve put something on a page and can come back to it when the time is right.
Third, get back to work on your WIP. Tell that flirty new beginning that you’ll be in touch soon, then disconnect and get back to business. Because the only thing more exciting than a new beginning is the satisfaction of typing “The End.”
Evangeline Denmark has co-authored two children’s books, The Dragon and the Turtle (Waterbrook Press, 2010) and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari (Waterbrook Press, 2011) and also writes adult fiction. Evangeline serves as chapter secretary for Worship Write Witness and has only broken up with one of her novels since she began writing in 2006. You can find Evangeline online at http://www.breathenbreatheout.blogspot.com and http://www.dragonandturtle.com