Shiny New Idea Syndrome should be a medically recognised condition. I am working on a draft, possibly editing it. All has been going well when suddenly a Shiny New Idea grips me. A flash of inspiration strikes and I can’t get rid of it. I turn this idea over in my head all the time. I think about it when out running, in the shower, on the tube. I can’t work on my current idea because I am so distracted by this one. I start to plan the novel out in my head, and I become forced to sit and write the first chapter, just to stop the nagging voices.
Yes I realise I sound like a crazy person when I say that. It takes over. The current MS gets forgotten.
The positives of this are:
- I am not writing to a publisher’s deadline. It doesn’t matter that my current MS gets put aside for SNI.
- This may be the idea which gets me published.
- The current MS may simply need a break. I can return to it with fresh eyes later.
The dangers of course are:
- I may never finish anything. This Shiny New Idea will become a current MS, and I’ll be distracted from it by another SNI.
- My poor unloved manuscript. Lots of work has gone into it, it was a Shiny New Idea once, and now it’s languishing, sad and alone, in a drawer.
- Sometimes the shine wears off a SNI and underneath is a dull worn idea, less original than the current MS.
The best option? Work on both I say!
I am currently editing a manuscript so it’s a good time for a Shiny New Idea to grip. I can spend time honing lines on my current MS, and then have a break and write a new bit of the SNI.
Any thoughts about what to do when a SNI grips, and does anybody else have this problem?