Creative Writing 101,  Indie Author Life,  Work-In-Progress,  Writer's Block,  Writing Journey

Settling On A New Project, Part Three

Haha. 😀 Before I get into that though, I has a poetry book cover!! Reveal is next week!! ^_^

Okay. Last year, I quite dramatically on exactly two occasions (officially) ranted about how hard it was for me to settle on a project. Quick Overview: I tried using a couple of different apps to randomly pick an idea for me. I drew random ideas out of a pile. I asked multiple people for help narrowing things down or to choose for me. Ultimately, I ended up not writing at all or even trying for several months because I was just plum exhausted.

Speaking of plums, does anyone know when they’re in season? ^_^

Anywho, after all the drama, I finally just looked at my ideas and narrowed them down by excitement level and level of readiness. Sounds like a good plan, right? It’s not. Because I later realized that it doesn’t matter if a story is “ready.” If I want to work on something bad enough, I can get it ready. 😛 It’s a literal non-issue.

So, what brought on a part three of all this melodrama, you ask? 😀

Last week I stated that I had to stop project juggling because it was making me super distracted or whatever. That meant I had to actually choose between the two projects I was working on, and well . . . (insert hysterical laughter here)

I decided that the only logical way to settle on an idea was to focus on what I’m currently in the mood for, while avoiding anything that is actively stressing me out. HOWEVER, it’s not even as simple as that.

I’m lucky that I have a head full of fictional and imagined peeps to ask for advice from, and I’m also lucky that I have a heap of past projects to get advice from as well. At this point in my writing journey, I’d really like an official “project picking” system, or at least something that will significantly speed up the process, because this has gotten actually ridiculous.

Since I can’t be the only one out there who struggles like this, I’m documenting this in case it saves a slice of someone else’s sanity. It’s too late for me.

So, in addition to avoiding crippling stress and figuring out what fits my current mood, I also need to consider if I’m even excited enough about the damn idea in the first place. If I’m not excited enough, I’m going to get distracted, I’m going to force things, and the doubt monster is going to show up and sit on my project, and we all know how annoying that is. In addition to all of that, I also need to know one VERY important thing that I overlook more than literally everything else combined.


Yeah. I seriously forget to ask this so often, it’s amazing I consider myself any kind of smart. I’m a character-driven writer, so this is extremely important, probably the most important, because who cares if I’m excited about the story if I don’t know what anyone wants? NO WONDER I FEEL CRAZY!

I’ll stop shouting.

To help me make a decision, I looked at my current projects, and I asked myself the following questions:

Am I excited about this idea? 
Does it fit my current mood?
Is it stressing me out?
Am I forcing anything?
Do I know what the MC wants?

5 simple questions for people struggling to settle on an idea. ^_^

So, was I able to make a decision after all this? Of course. ^_^ Is this the official system? I dunno. But I’m certain it’ll help.

Hopefully this helps someone. Happy end of May. Okay. Bye.


  • Michelle Athy

    See, I only ever get one idea at a time, so it’s easy in that regard! Then it becomes “Is this one idea right now the right one for now? Do I want to spend a lot of time in this world?” And yes what do the characters ’cause I tend to dive in not knowing that and it’s caused me a world of grief.

  • Tonja Drecker

    My brain is always project hopping, and I’m pretty sure that isn’t a good thing. Or maybe it is? As long as one gets done, I honestly don’t mind. (Lol! If one gets done 😉 ) Anyway, our plums are ripe around mid/end of July, but I’m sure that depends on what type of plums and where you are.

    • Krystal Jane

      Lol! I’m starting to feel like nothing is going to get done. >.< I’ll pay for you to mail me some plums. ^_^ Guy at the grocery store wasn’t sure. This helps. It’ll keep me from having to check every week.

  • tyreanmartinson

    Those questions are great! I think I need to use those. I struggle with my projects, too. I had one I was super excited about, then meh. Then, I had another I just wrote the first five chapters for in 2 days – super exciting, then … forced, then meh, then realized the problem and still didn’t want to go back. So… I’ve been editing and writing little bits, but the struggle is real. Which idea should I chase down again? I don’t know.
    But, I am going to turn your questions loose on my projects and figure it out!
    Thanks, Krystal!

    • Krystal Jane

      Yay! I hope it helps you out! The struggle is certainly real. What you’ve been going through is exactly what I’ve been going through. I’ll think I’m finally good with something only for something to implode somewhere. Ha.

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