Wait Your Turn!

by | March 26, 2017 | General | 6 comments

by Kathleen Bradean

Many people start novels. Few finish.

It’s a bit like love, or lust. As the story idea comes to you, your enthusiasm soars and your imagination frolics through scenes. It’s infatuation. A rush.

Writing the story is a different task. You can’t gloss over parts that aren’t as fun, and the weaknesses become glaringly obvious. Each step is more of a buzzkill until you get mired down in the reality of producing a written work somewhere in the middle.

Relationships are work. This includes your relationship to your writing. When the excitement flames out and the going gets rough, it’s easy to get distracted by thoughts of other stories. The initial thrill of creativity is addictive and fun. Maybe one story muscles in, or it could be several.

I can’t tell you when it’s time to throw in the towel on a story. Sometimes, no matter what you do, it’s never going to work.

I can’t tell you when it’s time to walk away from a difficult story for “a while” to give yourself time to gather the grit to see it through.

What I can tell you is that slogging through the difficult work is the only thing that will ever get you to the end, and that developing a habit of dropping work to play with the newest, shiniest idea is going to leave you with a lot of failed novels  and nothing else.

If that pesky, enthralling new idea will not leave you alone, write down the idea and firmly tell yourself that it has to wait its turn. The reason it looks so great is because you’ve reached a difficult part in your current work. It might be something too emotional for you to handle right now. So step away and process it until you can face it. Or maybe you don’t know what to do next. This is writer’s block and you can find lots of advice on how to get past it. But try not to let another story jump queue. There was a reason you got excited by this idea for this story. Remember what it was, and fall back in love with it. You’ve put this much time into this relationship. Don’t throw it away.


Kathleen Bradean

Kathleen Bradean’s stories can be found in The Best Women’s Erotica 2007, Haunted Hearths, Garden of the Perverse, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 6, and She’s On Top in print. Clean Sheets and The Erotica Readers and Writer’s Association websites have also featured her stories. Writing as Jay Lygon, her stories can be found in Inside Him, Blue Collar Taste Tests, Toy Box: Floggers, and the novels Chaos Magic, Love Runes, and Personal Demons. Read more about Kathleen Bradean at: KathleenBradean.Blogspot.com www.JayLygonWrites.com


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Brief and eloquent, Kathleen. AND good advice.

    It has sometimes taken me years to get back to those ideas scribbled in my notebook. But eventually, I do.

  2. Martin Gross

    Well said. I have this problem big time.

  3. Frater Gymnos

    I SO needed to hear this right now. I am stuck on a story I very much wanted to write, and I wasn't sure where to go next. Since I was pantsing the story, I've decided to go back and construct a premise and a story arc in the hope that it will help me fall in love with my story again. I think it will. Thanks for the encouragement. And the perspective.

  4. Jean Roberta

    Ha! Kathleen, your title is very appropriate. The 26th of every month is supposed to be my date to post, but my post was in progress, so your posting was timely. I just hope my post (now finished) can slide in here on March 29 with a minimum of inconvenience to anyone else.

  5. Jean Roberta

    Your advice about story ideas seems wise. Jotting down notes for the next project seems like a good way to keep it on hold until you can get to it.

  6. Donna

    Relationships ARE work, and our writing deserves respect and patience. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

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