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I’ve always had these problems with sticking with one idea. My mind will jump from one to the next trying to wrap itself around a fleeting wisp of smoke in a hazy room. They’re so compacted in my head that, when one slips out, I have to grab it then body slam it to the floor to daze it. I need to stick with that idea, or it will never be finished. I can never decide what I want to write about. Do I want to talk about how I always seem to procrastinate writing essays? Or how I used to write stories during math class in elementary school?
No, right now I want to talk about how my own mind seems to be self-sabotaging me. It’s the one taking all the risks. Jumping through fiery hoops and taking shots of Jager bombs, then barfing flames out of my ear. It is a supervillain and I am its lackey doing its will. My brain likes to wear me down, over and over, until I finally give in.
“Hey remember that WIP you were doing a couple days ago? Yeah... I’m not really into that anymore. You see, dragons are the next best thing to write about,” it says one day while I’m just doing homework.
“But I already have a 'dragon' story. Is that enough?” I cry into the abyss, knowing that this is going to be a fight I will never win.
“Yes, but we’re just adding a couple dragons to this story you already have fleshed out. You’re gonna have to change a few things in order to make this fit well into the story.”
“But I… I already had this all planned. I was actually going to start writing this.”
“Well, time to rewrite your plans.”
Then I go sob in a corner because I just wish my brain could stick to one idea.
“Brain, my stories do not need to be stuffed full of different ideas and genres in order to be interesting. I can make them interesting enough with my writing style and vocabulary.”
“But listen… reincarnation.” If it was possible to punch myself in the brain, I would.
“Please stop,” I sob asking for reprieve. “I just want to finish this one thing. I want it to be realistic. I want it to be gritty without the need of fantastical elements. It needs to be something tangible.”
This is a very average conversation that I have with my brain. When I want to complete something, my brain just decides to add more to the pile. Whether it be a whole new story, a change in setting, making a character the opposite gender. The list goes on. Then I finally take a knee and bow to my overlord, writing whatever it wants. My master, however, can be very forgetful. In the beginning, the writing comes in spurts of greatness in the form of several chapters a day. Then it falls to a chapter a day. Then a chapter every couple of days. Eventually, my brain’s will to write drops off the face of the earth.
Sometimes it’s like my brain is doing drugs. It’s on hyperdrive whenever it decides to get another high, then crashes and burns, leading to the shakes and nausea. I try to ignore it at these points in time. When it finally settles down is when it's good and thought-provoking ideas flow through.
“Why are you ignoring me? Amber? Hello? Well, how about we add a cool kidnapping scene?”
“Oh yeah?” I sigh, knowing I’m going to concede.
“It’ll be awesome.”
“Alright brain. Let’s do it.”