Too many ideas

As a writer, can you have too many ideas? As it turns out – yes you can.

I know that most writers will initially say that they can’t have too many ideas. You get an idea, you make notes and you file it away for when you need it. This does, of course, mean than you have to encompass a note making filing system that is both accessible and effective. Who hasn’t been there and got the t-shirt in the ‘I know I wrote it down, but where did I put it’ syndrome?

The problem with ideas is having too many at the wrong time. By this I mean you’re thundering through a brilliant piece of writing, but you know it’s time to take a short break from the screen and favourite seat. You wander a few yards, look out over your favourite view and bang the new idea hits you right between your eyes. You go to make a coffee while exploring the idea further. During that fifteen minute break you’ve almost written the new piece in your head as your mind wanders.

Time to get up and make some notes. By the time you write you may already have lost some of your best thoughts, but hey; they’ll come back when you write the piece properly, won’t they? Now, do you go back to the section you were writing or do you plough headlong into the new idea, intending to do the real planning later on, afterwards?

This is my dilemma right now. I’m halfway through a radio play that I’ve spent time planning out in exact detail. I’m half way through writing the content and it’s flowing so well that I shouldn’t really stop. I might be ready for the first stage of re-writing in a day or so. Or do I start on this great new idea? It’s relevant for today’s market. It might move quickly through the radio systems of first read, second read, planning for production, casting, recording and the part we all strive for, airplay. My other play could be good for anytime. Which way should I hedge my bets?

Just as well I don’t get writer’s block; but then that doesn’t exist, does it?

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