I write this from a laptop balanced precariously on the steering wheel of a truck. Don’t worry, I’m parked, I’m not that much of a maniac! I’m unloading at a remote location, so I thought I would take the 20 minutes I have of nothing to write up a quick post just so you guys don’t think I’ve disappeared again. I could take this time to complain about getting sent out to work after noon for a 12 hour shift, or that I had a 14 hour shift yesterday that I also wasn’t notified about until about 11am, but I won’t. I don’t want all my posts to be ones complaining about my job, even though that’s mostly what I think about writing while I’m at work…
What I want to talk about today, quickly, is a dilemma I’m having with the book that I’m trying to write. I have a whole list of random ideas, some that are fleshed out with paragraphs of scene ideas or just general stuff about the characters or their world, and others that are simply one or two sentences long, maybe more suited to a short story or a novella. The point is, this list is constantly growing as I drive down the roads, my mind free to think about all sorts of things, and every now and then an idea pops into my brain. The disadvantage to this is twofold. One, I’m driving, and I have to try and remember it until I get pulled over or take a chance with Siri dictation actually hearing my correctly and getting the words down well enough so that I can decipher them later. Two, is that I have all these ideas, but I can only write about one of them at a time.
This is the dilemma I face now. I have 2 ideas that I really want to write about, and my brain is constantly flipping back and forth between them. The biggest issue is that they aren’t even related. One is a character study about a relationship between two mid-twenty year olds, and the other is an epic trilogy about a post apocalyptic world. So, you could say they are somewhat different. I like that I have these ideas for vastly different settings, it will keep my writing fresh. But, I’m having a hard time deciding which one to start with.
My mind says the character study. Most likely my first book will be a pile of unreadable garbage anyway, so I might as well get some practice out of the way first. I think taking a trilogy on for a first novel is a bit too ambitious. If I write the character study I will be able to get some practice in with plot construction, character development, scene ordering, dialogue, etc. My heart, though, has different plans. I come up with 3 times the ideas for the trilogy than I do for the character study. My note folder for the post apocalyptic setting is like 2000 words long already. I can see maps in my head that I try to doodle out on paper while I’m watching Netflix to get an idea of what my world will look like. My mind is teeming with information about this world, but I just don’t think it’s the right way to go from the start.
One of my biggest fears as a writer is that nothing I do is good enough. Even the blog posts, unless I hit publish pretty much immediately after finishing them I’ll fuss over them and never get them up. I know this is an extremely common worry amongst not only writers, but humans in general, but that knowledge does nothing to help me get over it. It's just something I'm going to have to deal with though, and I need to realize that at times I'm going to write some absolute garbage. That's what editing is for though. So for now, I'll just keep writing, hopefully everyday, job permitting, and see where that gets me.