When I start a new manuscript, my mind yearns for an escape valve. All these other writing projects present themselves. Often they are simpler, requiring less creativity. I start to think: I could chronicle the plot arcs in my collection of Fantastic Four (thus forcing me to read the comics again). Or I could write a book on how to teach writing through the new common core (linking back to my teaching job).
They are all great ideas. It was my wife who finally recognized this propensity for distraction in me. When faced with the prospect of starting a novel from scratch and all the creative mojo that entails, my brain searches for an easy way out. I need to trust the force and stay on target.
The next time you hear that inner voice suggesting you start up a brand new project just as you’re beginning your newest novel, recall the wise words of Gold Five (from Star Wars): Stay on Target.
(I’m such a nerd.)