Gardening Month it is... and unlike my previous post which was rather meaningless, I intend to have a worthy discussion today.
Let's talk about weeds. If your yard looks anything like mine, the weeds are already lower-calf height and begging for a run-in with the mower. (Yours will probably meet that fate. Mine however, will continue to thrive until the tractor gets a new battery.) And you've probably begun the yearly ritual of plucking unwanted shoots, laying out your garden or flower bed, and perhaps sowing a few seeds.
I wish you the best of luck. My thumb is dirt brown.
But there are some weeds that warrant discussion. Those found in writing and in the garden on your computer.
These weeds are called... (gasp!) ideas.
I've had many recent conversations with authors, both published and unpublished, that involve the general topic of idea overflow. We all have wonderful ideas, stories that pull our focus one direction, but really aren't going to lead us anywhere except for, perhaps, a great writing journey.
Note, I'm not talking about active pursuit of a different subgenre. I'm talking about that random idea that hits out of nowhere that we all know is something we shouldn't spend energy thinking about. Case in point -- I'm often struck with YA ideas. I have to force them aside. I don't write YA. I don't want to be a YA author, and all other things aside, I have no idea what the technical specifics for the genre are. So, while the idea may be way cool, the amount of time it would take me to put together that idea, into something workable, would eat up the time it would take me to write likely two books in something I already do.
So I'm encouraging all of you to sit down and look at your garden. Look at what seeds you have, what shoots are growing, and give some thought on plucking the weeds that might look pretty but are really a nuisance. (Like my damned ivy.) Focus your energies on what truly gives you the best opportunity while satisfying the craving of your heart.
Crafting that uber-cool idea might be fun as all get out. But if you have to relearn everything you thought you already knew, chances are your time is better invested on a new idea in your currently sown row.
At the same time, if you're stuck in between on one of these publishing plateaus (translation, your genre isn't selling), look at those seeds yet to be planted. Is it time to take the momentum of spring, the season of life, and perhaps put energy into something new? Is it the season to make a change?
As for me? I'm going to go on ignoring my YA muse and keep on telling myself, "Maybe when the demidemons are older and I can relate to the teens." Meanwhile, I'm looking at some older projects that I wrote in my current genres, analyzing the time required to polish them up versus the time required to write something new, and plucking those weeds. I'm also planting a few flowers by reviving my very first writing project. I'll continue to nurture the saplings that are growing -- The Templars, the Black Opals -- and spend more energy on making these shine better than the one before.
In between... I'm checking my email for some news about a brand new plant that I hope will have deep roots.
So... what about all of you? Are you weeding or sowing already planted seeds?