The Least of my Worries

One night as I lay in bed, staring at the dark ceiling, trying to get my mind to quiet enough so that I could sleep, my body went cold and my mind seized up. I was struck with the terrifying thought: what if one day I sat down to write my next story, and I was completely out of ideas?

My biggest fear as a writer had always been that one day my idea stockpile would run completely and utterly dry. That maybe one day I’d get published, and my publishers would expect another book, and there would be nothing left in me.

So as I lay there in a panic, I started to tick off all the unfinished projects and ideas I have floating around. I soon realized that I couldn’t keep track of them all on my fingers. So over the next few days, I compiled a list – not just of ideas, but which of those ideas have sequel potential, as well.

I soon discovered that running out of ideas was the least of my worries.

I am now more afraid that I will never be able to write them all! I am overwhelmed with the sheer number of stories that need to be told and that they are locked in my head until I record them. Nobody can read them while they are still in there.

And they get lost in there, too. I forget ideas more quickly than I can write them. I do what I can to jot them down, with as much detail as possible, but often I’ve gone back to an idea and been completely unable to recapture what it was I was trying to write.

Also, will I really be able to pull some of these brilliant ideas off? I have a little faith in my writing prowess, but some of these ideas are so epic and amazing that I doubt I’ll ever be able to write them to my satisfaction.

Or what if I do, and then I discover someone else has already written it? And written it better than me?

In all honesty, ideas are everywhere. Not only are there countless idea generators out there (books, websites, writing groups), all I really need to do to come up with a new idea is to take a nice long walk and let my mind go, or listen to an epic soundtrack, or watch the people around me.

But how will I ever write all of these ideas before I’m gone from this world? Really, this is a good problem to have, right?

The hard part is deciding which ideas to focus on, and not get distracted by other ideas while trying to complete a project. I need to decide which projects have the most potential – both for me actually completing them and also being published – and focus on getting those out of my mind and into the world.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

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