Forums › Fiction › General Writing Discussions › How do you decide whether to continue with an old project or start a new one? › Reply To: How do you decide whether to continue with an old project or start a new one?
I try to stick to one or two projects at a time. Having two allows me to swap between them if I’m having trouble with one or the other, but still keeps me focused on finishing. Exploring is good and important, especially in the early years of writing, but finishing is also an important skill and it’s good to learn how to power through on a project after a while. So I think it depends on what stage of the writing journey you’re in, but if you’re ready to settle into a focused project or two, there are some things it can be really helpful to know.
When choosing what project to focus on, you should choose something that is exciting and/or important to you. Choose a project that you’re thrilled to write, and determine why you’re thrilled to write it so that when you hit the inevitable hard times you can look back and remind yourself why you’re writing this book.
Once you’ve chosen a project, that doesn’t mean you can never do anything with those other plot ideas that pop into your head! My favorite way to handle this is to give myself a set number of days or maybe a week to explore a new idea that’s popped up, to jot down all of the notes I come up with, to maybe start a Pinterest board, to just play with it without feeling guilty about my main project, before I set the plot bunny aside again and return to that main project. Generally, my excitement over the new idea wanes in this time frame, anyway, but then I’ve captured all of its sparks in a bottle, so to speak, that I can come back to later when I’m ready to choose a new main project.
I have blog posts on choosing a project, sticking with a project, and handling plot bunnies without getting distracted, which I’d be happy to share if you’re interested. I can’t link to all of them in this post because the forum will eat the whole thing for having too many links, but I can share them individually if you’re interested!
Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.