When ideas won’t come, should you stray?

This is something that I fear. What if I reach 40,000 words and I can’t go any further because there doesn’t seem to be a way forward

My deepest concern is that I dream up another compelling idea for a new novel and can’t let it go. Should I take time off from my current novel to pursue this dream of an idea? It’s like a release, an excuse to abandon this thing that is hanging around my neck, deprivingĀ  me of oxygen.

I could write up the idea, find my voice and run with it. Before I know it, I could have written 10,000 words, but what I would have is the start of a new novel – and that’s great. But what if I didn’t get beyond 40,000 words again,? I would have two unfinished novels.

My conscience tells me – Discipline is your strongest ally.

You will find a way to go forward. Leave your novel alone for three days and then lift your pen again without knowing what you’re going to write and the words will flow. Unknown to you, your brain has been working overtime, dreaming up new ideas based on your original story. Keep with it, you’ll see it works every time.

Don’t be tempted to even think of a new idea. Take a note of it, if you must, to get it out of your head and tuck it away in a file to be forgotten meanwhile. If it has struck a chord, the idea will not be lost, it will raise its head again, especially if you’ve written it down.

But meantime start your novel again, one thousand words or more at a time until you reach your goal. You’ll be glad that you disciplined yourself when you complete your novel.



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