They’re cute. They’re shiny. And they always pop up when you have the LEAST amount of time for them, always, always when you’re super busy with another project (or three). Meet the FRICKING PLOT BUNNIES!
See, this is my brain on a story high:
Brain: OMG, this story we’re working on is amazing! Let’s work on another one!
Me: Um, no.
Brain: Look at it! (points to shiny new idea) Look how shiny it is! Think of the adventure. Think of the magic!
Me: I am. It’s called brainstorming. It’s up next. (mumbling: along with whatever else you decide you want to work on at the same time.)
Brain: hugs self I want it! Give it!
Me: Slow your roll, dude! I said it’s up next!
Brain: faints from excitement
See, shiny new ideas are SUPER exciting. Like, MEGA, like WOW! Right? And sometimes we just don’t want to say no to them because they are SO pretty and sparkly (and cuddly and adorable and they’re like sugar!)
But here’s the thing, folks, we have other freaking ideas to finish. If we keep heaping stories onto our plates, we’ll never finish anything! So here is my approach:
SHINY NEW IDEA (SNI): tugs at my pants legs and bats its eyelashes at me Hi.
Me: turns away from keyboard OMG, look at you! pet
SNI: I’ve been baking.
Me: I know, it’s going so great!
SNI: I’m ready now.
Me: Dear Lord…no. No, you’re not. There’s still the one thing. Remember? That thing?
SNI: We both know there’s no ‘thing’. You want to write me now. I can see it in your eyes. And such pretty eyes you have!
Me: momentarily distracted whilst I check myself out Oh? Thank you!
SNI: beams I’m so excited!
Me: Wait, what?
SNI: I won’t be a bother. I’m happy to share your brain with everyone else.
Me: Uh, here’s the thing. There’s only so much space up there.
(aside – Brain: yeah, empty space, heh, heh.)
Me: (ignores Brain) I promise I’ll get to you. I’m very excited about your story, but I’m sooo busy right now.
SNI: wags fluffy tail I’ll be so quiet. You won’t even know I’m there. turns up the cute and shiny factors
Me: Erg! Soo, pretty. takes a deep breath and points to the sky Hey, look a UFO!
SNI: looks up Wha?
Me: slams a glass bowl over its giant fluffy head Stay.
Okay, so maybe the giant bowl will only work for a week or two, but hey! that’s a week or two of peace! And here are some other things that work:
–Throwing the beastie into a crockpot for a nice super slow bake.
–Outlining a chapter and then sneaking it back onto the shelf while it’s in la-la land.
–Brainstorming while you’re busy at work and can’t write anyway.
–Making a playlist for it to pacify it for a spell. (This puts it in a temporary music coma.)
–Putting that monster in a cage!! And locking it. I also find a proverbial sheep field works, provided it comes with a tall fence and a sturdy lock on the gate. (I prefer the non-electric variety, but we do what we have to.)
And remember, your plot bunny loves you. Today anyway. It’s not going anywhere. Well, not as long as there are carrots lying around. Show your plot bunny you love it and keep it happy with frequents pets and the occasional walk. But do remember to keep your plot bunny on a leash, least it try to sneak into your brain while you’re staring off into space. (end PSA)