When temptation knocks, or …

… How to stay happily married to your current Work in Progress!

Aren’t you tempted by this … shapely …

My workload currently consists of the aforementioned Works in Progress. And because life threw its usual chaos at me, I have to focus on just the most important (which is, imminent and paid) tasks. I have to go with my head and not my heart there. My head says, money first. I need to do the paid editing work, and finish the story that is being published in monthly instalments. I also need to do all that comes with it, and network, blog, research …

BUT my heart is constantly interfering with new ideas for stories I could write asap. I made notes for a Viking short story, then put it aside. And there is one story (a Viking shieldmaiden novel idea) that is VERY insistent I should start work on it RIGHT NOW. I have to turn down its flirtatious advances (these shiny, new story ideas can be so … sexy — I have to force my eyes off of them!).

I wake in the mornings, dozy from sleep, and have the most attractive plot and character ideas. So I think about them, I take notes, but I put them aside! I’m being a good girl, not giving in to the temptation. Later, later. Just wait, you sexy, bold, attention-seeking story idea. I’ll get back to you, we will have so much fun.

But not NOW.

Because at the moment, I’m married to another story. The historical, serialised Eifel novel. It is not finished yet, plus I need to carve out those short bits I can use for the magazine that is publishing it. And we want to make the long version a printed book. Yes, this year. So you can see where this is going, can’t you? Pressure. Priority. Focus. Eyes on one and only THE one book. No matter how used to each other me and story-spouse are and how well I know all sides to it … it is my current partner, and there is no way I can give in to that hot, new story idea AND keep my present story spouse happy. I am faithful, in a way. Technically, I don’t act on the temptation. But the thoughts, the fantasising about that other “story dude” … omg, I am working hard to reign in the lust!

So I’m writing all my fantasies down, to put them aside. I add to them if the new story dude keeps distracting me with new flirtatious advances. I have to stay strong, just give him a shy glance (well, okay, maybe I openly stare, but hell — he’s got so much to offer!), then move on and back “home” (alone!) to where my current story is waiting for my full attention. We’ve come a long way together, we enjoyed most of the time together, we had highs and lows, we are still a team and need to stick together until the end. Well, until its end. A healthy writer-story-relationship has to find a natural end at some point.

Then I will be free to move on. One day. Hopefully a soonish day. I will give my current story one long, last look, a tight hug, I’ll even shed a tear for all the lovely times we had. And it will hopefully still be very handsome to look at. Solid. Attractive even. But to OTHERS — the readers then! I’ll just wish it good luck and move on. Okay, okay. We were so close, I think I’ll from time to time watch my old partner from a distance and see how it is doing. I still love it, no matter how strong my attraction to that new story idea may be. I will always love it, for our emotional past. But it won’t have my hungry hands on it, but those of the new lovers of my story, I hope. Once I let it go, I want readers’ hands all over it. Relishing its attraction. Hehe.

And then, finally, I will be free once again!

For that sexy, irresistible new story. For however long the new partnership with my next common-law story-spouse will last. I am determined to give it my all, make it (no: “us”) work and be a passionate, faithful lover until …

Well. You know. Not long, and another story idea will throw me lusty glances, beckon me over with an irresistible smile.

But NO.

I know I’ll get my fingers burnt the moment I abandon a current story spouse and give in to temptation too early.

 

And now over to YOUR temptations! Readers and writers alike, which ideas distracted you from current stories, made you give in to them too early or too late or not at all? How do you react to those flirtatious advances of all the dozens of new ideas?

Let us all know in the comments below, or just me in an email! Have fun!

 

Comments (6)

  1. Avatar

    Amalie Cantor 17.02.2015 at 21:56

    This. Is. Brilliant. Thank you.

    That is all. 🙂

    • sarah

      sarah 17.02.2015 at 22:33

      Hi Amalie, THANK you for that simple, lovely comment, I’m lost for words! I’m happy you enjoyed my “logic” and hope we can exchange more “writing wisdom” in the future. Have a lovely week!

  2. Avatar

    Eremi 17.02.2015 at 9:32

    No need to cheat — be polygamous!!! After all, the Vikings often were 😉

    But seriously, I know what you mean. And I think you’re right to give those other projects at least a little bit of time when they demand it… creativity breads more creativity, I think. A fling or two might even help your marriage (literarily speaking only, of course!). The trick is not feeling guilty about it. I say follow your heart!!! At least a little. But then I’m clearly biased toward the Viking stories.

    • sarah

      sarah 17.02.2015 at 9:37

      Hi Eremi, Oh yes…I didn’t look at it this way…but what a delicate line to stay true to your major WIP and have a little fling here and there to spice the situation up…hehe! I love the image (ahem)! And yes, Vikings (stories) always make my heart flutter at once and I wanna give in to them – but then: there is always a time for them when I’m free to indulge, and the longer the wait, the hotter the encounter, or am I wrong? 😉 Thanks for sharing your thoughts and good luck with your projects and the flings.. 😉

  3. Avatar

    Marie 17.02.2015 at 8:20

    I always have at least half a dozen ideas running around.

    Currently I’m committing to revising/translating the 1st in a contemporary folklore trilogy, but other bits from that world keeps insisting they need attention.

    How do I rebuff them? By giving them enough time (couple of hours, maybe a day) to finalize in a form I can write down for when I actually do have the time.

    • sarah

      sarah 17.02.2015 at 8:24

      Hi Marie, yes, exactly that, those ideas want attention, ok, they get as much as they need to be satisfied long enough – so we can finish what we originally wanted to do! Thanks for letting us know about your process, I bet it’s similar to other writers… or we’d get confused and do nothing justice. Have a great week and good luck for your projects!

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