Monday, May 30, 2011

Ooh, Sparkly!

I suffer from what my husband and I endearingly call the "ooh, sparkly" syndrome.  It probably needs little description or explanation after that title, but to maintain understanding, I will put it in four words: I am easily distracted.

Now, this doesn't mean I can't hunker down and concentrate for any decent length of time.  In fact, it can be quite the opposite.  I can get caught on an idea or project (or whatever you want to call it) so thoroughly that I ignore other things to an embarrassing degree.  Sometimes, this is productive.  Sometimes it is not.  When it's not... it's VERY not.

Put these two things together, and you have a good chunk of my approach to daily life.

Might I note here, that this is not absolute.  Even these go in and out of style for me.  Call me chaos, if you will.  Just don't forget to pity my husband for it.

The point of mentioning it today is the effect it has on my ambitions.  Specifically, on my ambition of being a respected fiction writer.  I say respected, because while I do wish to be successful, I don't want to give the impression that I expect to be famous or very wealthy.  I fantasize about such things to varying degrees, as I expect many people do, but I know that it is not a very realistic goal.  Respectable... that is realistic.  I want to have a mark in the industry, even if it is just a small mark.  I want those who read my works to enjoy them for entertainment value, for technique, for skill, and for style.  I don't even expect any reader of them to enjoy them for all of those reasons together.  I'll be happy to accept enjoyment in only one aspect, respect for only one aspect.

...With that aspect varying from person to person.  I like to be well-rounded.

The "ooh, sparkly" syndrome is great for writing in terms of inspiration - for story ideas.  That first explosion is immensely satisfying.  And, if circumstances permit, that explosion allows for a great big bunch of pages.

However, it can also be disruptive.  If I'm otherwise occupied it will make me grumpy because I can't stop what I'm doing to go explore the new idea while I'm in the midst of that initial explosion.  If I'm in the middle of another writing project, that existing project can sometimes be neglected in the wash of the exploration of the new idea.

It is a difficult thing to balance and can result in stagnant results for my ambition because it leaves little room for completing an existing project (story).  And this is where I am today.

I know that to move forward in my ambition, I have to finish the current project and get it out there for people to read.  Yet, that new idea is scratching at my face like my cat used to do when I dared to sleep in and was thus late to filling his food bowl.  If I give in and work on the new idea, then the guilt and responsibility of the preexisting project hovers over me like an angry, judgmental, unsympathetic boss (or client).

So, which will I work on today?

Apparently, at this moment, neither, since I decided to post this about it instead.  But, the time for dawdling must end.  I must choose one, and at least make some progress on something.

Wish me luck!  I need it.  

Thank you for indulging... (me).

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