I started writing because I had too many stories. I'd been collecting them for so long, you see, procrastinating, that they didn't fit in my head anymore. I wrote down notes. I made a list, but eventually I figured out that I had forgotten what the notes meant. I'd lost a few.
That single thought, and the following panic attack, was enough impetus to force me to get writing. I want to save them all, to keep every little seed of story and preserve it. . . which, of course, is idiotic.
You can't do it. At least, I can't. My head is way too full of imaginings, and I've learned that for every one I manage to ooze onto paper, I can think of a few more. Now, rather than tempt my muse into hiding, that's not a brag at all. I still live in fear of the well "drying up" so to speak. I've just come to terms with the fact, that I may not get every single tale safely into book form before I die. I'm okay with that....mostly.
But I still have the too many story problem. Lately, it just manifests in a different way. I'll be well up to my elbows in one project, passionate, driven, totally immersed, and I'll think up a new story that absolutely has to be written NOW. Which, of course, would mean nothing ever got written, not finished that is.
I'm doing a fair job of ignoring the jabbing from the "NEXT" story, but they are starting to pile up. Now I have to make decisions like, "when I finish this book, will I do X or Y next?" Next is very close to driving me batty. I know I'm not the only one who has more stories vying for attention than they have time to actually sit down and put words on paper, so I'm going to take today and ask you all a question....
How the heck do you pick the "next" story you work on?
That's assuming deadlines and editors don't help you out by demanding something specific, of course. That, at least, makes the choosing easier. (or it should) So let me have it. What's your strategy?
And no claiming you listen to the one that's "speaking to you the loudest." Heard it. Let's assume they're all clamoring at the top of their lungs. ;)