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  1. #1
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    Bursting with ideas

    What do you do when you have too many ideas for story's and it feels like your head is about to explode?

    I've been writing for just over a year now, but idea's just keep popping into my head and before I know it, I've got the whole story flooding my head. I'm trying to finish the 1st draft of my 1st novel (primarily working on that and another), but I keep getting sidetracked because I'm scared of losing the new ideas. I end up staying awake all night, thinking about it and jotting things down. As I work full time and have 2 young children (who are driving me crazy now it's school hols) it's becoming very disruptive.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to cope with a creative overload?



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    many ideas for story's
    but idea's just keep popping


    There is no apostrophe in "stories" or "ideas."

    I hate to point them out, but it is a writing website.

    As to your frustration with having an abundance of ideas, there are several things you can do.
    1. Quit telling yourself it's a problem.
    2. Write them down and look at them later.
    3. Make an agreement with yourself that there are certain times of the day you concentrate on writing, and the rest of the time you don't. I find that helpful at the end of the day. It keeps you from staying up all night. It's your mind. You can control it. Just shut it down for the night and get some sleep.
    Last edited by leslee; 07-03-2011 at 02:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    Haha lol! You just had to, didn't you?

    I know ... I need to work on spelling too!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    "but idea's just keep popping."

    At least she didn't write "pooping."

    *_*

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cheryl Morton's Avatar
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    Leanne,

    I've been reading a book on writing and one suggestion that it makes is whenever you have a great idea pop into your head, write it down on an index card and file it away. Later, when you go to start writing a book, take out those cards and see how they might be organized into a story. The ones you don't use put back into the file.

    I've sort of been doing this my own way. I have my memoir that I'm most focused on, a rough draft for a novel that I'm working on, and another idea for a novel that I've done very little with. I have a notebook for each. When I get an idea that seems to fit with one of them I jot it down in that notebook. If I don't know where it fits but don't want to lose it, I jot it down in one of them.

    Good luck!

    Cheryl
    Justin Bieber: "I was sent by God to sing."
    Corey Taylor: "I didn't send you!"

  6. #6
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    Leanne. Hi. I use post-it notes for story ideas, people who might make interesting characters, bits of dialogue, or descriptions that pop into my head. I just drop them into whichever folder applies. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Diane Theron's Avatar
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    Leanne, I can identify - I went camping this weekend and had a great time, but I had this story running around in my head and although I had brought books to read, had nothing to write on - my compromise to my family, a no writing weekend. It was so frustrating until I put my mind into movie mode and imagined the scenes and how they would play out. Midnight my agreement is void and my keyboard will be a-clicking.

  8. #8
    Belinda T.
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    There is no cure for an overly active creative mind. Try to rethink about the times you think the chaos around you is occurring and then reoganize, according to priority I suppose, those things which can do without your immediate attention. I'm an insomniac so you won't get much sympathy from me. I know of some who have recording devices on their night stands.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    Think of it this way, Leanne. Publishers don't print ideas. If you want to get published you need to complete a manuscript. One more thought. After you finish your first manuscript, there is a 99.9% chance it will be months or more likely years before you sell anything.

    Keep a shortcut to an idea folder on your desktop and add to it as you wish. I'd limit any development of those ideas for now. Finish your manuscript. edit revise edit revise. Get unbiased critique. Edit revise edit revise. Research agents and the submission process when you need a break from your manuscript so that you'll be ready. Then take the step. Remember that ideas are a dime a dozen. Writers write. Luck.
    km
    ________________________________________________

    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Cheryl Morton's Avatar
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    Leanne,

    On the subject of sleep disruption, I don't believe that the mind is something that can be controlled at will. There's no switch to shut it down, but there are various things that will often facilitate a good night's rest.

    My situation is similar to yours. I work full-time at a busy, stressful job. I go to school. I have a family. Throughout the day ideas of a creative nature are coming to mind, not just for writing, but I love to paint and draw as well. When I finally get time to myself I don't want to give it up to sleep, but then I'm exhausted the next day, struggling to get through another day of work.

    Some people find that avoiding certain foods in the evening, like caffeine, help their minds relax. Others read to fall asleep. I avoid reading; it stimulates my mind. Some meditate. Some pray. Some listen to soothing music. I find that a lot of people in the hospital put their TV on when they want to sleep, and they're out for the night within minutes. If all else fails, you might talk to your doctor.

    Because of our lifestyles we sometimes force ourselves into routines that aren't the best for our bodies and minds. I'm a bat at heart. I worked night shift for ten years, and I rarely had trouble sleeping all day. I decided to switch to day shift four years ago, and I had a hell of a time adjusting. Even after working all day, I would lie awake half the night unable to fall asleep. I tried for months, hoping that eventually the fatigue would take over and I would get on a good sleeping schedule at night, but it didn't work. I was running on 3-4 hours of sleep every day and had little energy. I tried everything I could think of, and finally I started taking NyQuil each night. It helped me fall asleep, but I would still wake up sporadically throughout the night. I finally talked to my doctor and was prescribed Ambien. I hate being dependent on a medication to sleep, but I take it for pragmatism's sake. You do have my sympathy.

    Cheryl
    Justin Bieber: "I was sent by God to sing."
    Corey Taylor: "I didn't send you!"

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