Too many stories to tell?

by J.A.
(Puerto Rico)

Question: I started with a simple story. After that one was finished I began writing the next one, and then everything went out of control. Now I stand with 42 stories that I have started and not finished.

How do I control my stories to stay concentrated in one so I can continue on to the others?

Answer: It's always easier to start a new story than to finish the one you're working on. The urge to start a new story usually comes just when you hit a snag with the current one - a place where you're not sure which direction to head next. It's an uncomfortable place to be, so your mind naturally seeks a way out of it via distraction.

Usually the solution is to sit with the current story. Relax. Give yourself time for the anxiety to settle. Take a walk. Perhaps brainstorm a list things that could happen next. But above all, stay focused on the story.

Eventually, an answer will come to you and you can finish the story you're working on.

If your idea for a new story is really appealing, jot the idea down quickly and briefly, but then return to the story you're working on.

As I'm sure you know, your effort on a story is wasted if you don't finish it.

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