One day you woke up to find your mind spinning with ideas for a story or lots of stories. Grabbing your head you beg for it to stop before you lose your mind. But the thoughts continue to pound until you’re ready to go crazy. Relax. There is a solution.
Simply write these thoughts down. You can list them on a piece of paper, jot them on a stack of note cards or post-it notes, type them in a Word or Excel document, or whatever works for you. This will provide some instant relief, but don’t think you can stop there. If you don’t do something with these thoughts they will begin to talk to you at the least convenient times, like when you want to sleep, need to work, or should be saying loving things to your significant other.
Start by determining if these are thoughts could form a book or even a book series. If so, it makes them easy to quickly do something with. Write the story! Jump in and don’t worry about anything except letting the words out sticking in those thoughts as they fit. If you think you’ve run out of words, live a bit. When life is busy they will start up again demanding their slice of your time. My best writing is when I don’t have time. My characters are like having a room full of toddlers all wanting my attention. They will find a way to make you pay attention to them. The story will come.
If the thoughts seem to be from a lot of different topics then try separating them into groups allowing your mind to explore things like genre and audience ages for the topics. Who would enjoy that thought? Does it make you think of a mystery, romance, horror, or fantasy story, or maybe teenage drama?
Sort your thoughts into these piles, pick one to play with and save the others in a drawer for later. Let the words draw you in and discover the places your mind will take you. Enjoy the journey.
For those more daring souls, you could start two or three topics to see which one sucks you in the most. Playing with a couple of thoughts will let your mind determine the one it likes because it will be the one you spend the most time writing.
For the hardcore enthusiasts with the rare ability to juggle multiple obsessions, you might find yourself able to write two or three stories at the same time. Caution. This option is for only the most obsessed writers whose brain likes to juggle. The average writer will find themselves unable to finish anything if they try to focus on more than one book at a time.
Know your lifestyle and when in doubt, stick with one story at a time. After all, you can always write down those random thoughts collecting them until you have enough to write the story all the way through to the end.
What kind of writer am I? Obsessed. I started by writing to get a scene out of my head. The words didn’t stop and after filling two spiral notebooks I turned to a computer. Four or five books into the series I received input from a publisher that meant going back and adjusting the stories. I started this change process while continuing to write. This input happened again somewhere around book eight and continued until I reached what I thought was the end at book fifteen. These days I generally have a short story, another book in the take off from the first series, and maybe a business type story in progress. I wake each day to see where my mind and characters want to go that day.
I have a healthy respect for more focused and thoughtful writers because obsessions are a bit tough on the sleep cycle. Just remember this advice: let the words flow and enjoy the fun.