What To Do When You Have Too Many Ideas And Too Little Time

I love starting projects. But, just about the time I have a decent start on something another idea tries to elbow itself to the forefront. Books and stories take time to write so this can make it hard to focus. This is a wonderful and troublesome side effect of writing consistently.

Do you have too many story ideas and too little time?

Photo Credit: pelcinary via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: pelcinary via Compfight cc

When I want to give in to the next project there is only one thing I can do.

Write down the idea in a commonplace book.

I had been doing this for a while but I first heard the commonplace book term from Todd Henry founder of Accidental Creative.

It’s a place we record everything related to our projects. This serves two purposes.

One, it helps us focus on the task at hand and settles the pestering of the other idea. And two, it creates a vetting process.

When I write an idea down and keep working on my current story, the idea has time to incubate. If I’m not passionate about it when I finish my current work, I don’t do it. If I still like the idea three months later, I might try it, if my schedule permits.

I use a journal now and Google Docs, but I just downloaded the Evernote app.

How about you? Do you have a common place book? If not, how do you stay focused on the task at hand and keep track of the ideas that keep coming?

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7 thoughts on “What To Do When You Have Too Many Ideas And Too Little Time

  1. I’ve been using Evernote for years, alongside a notebook. The great things about Evernote are the ability to keep pictures and the notes are searchable. I love how your blog is going, Bob.

  2. Jonathan, I wish I had discovered it sooner! If you’ve been using Evernote for years, do you use any other writing/organization tools I should be aware of? Sincere thanks for the kind remarks about my blog!

    1. I use Scrivener, which I have to say is the best $40 you can ever spend on software. The program is without equal and the customer service is great. I can’t imagine keeping an 80,000 word novel organized in Word. If anyone is on the fence about Scrivener, they have a 30 day free trial and if you participate in NaNoWriMo, they usually have a discount in November. I also bit the bullet earlier this year and bought a Mac Book Air and my time troubleshooting computer issues evaporated.

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