Imagine a world where you got an idea, and you wrote an idea out, in a story or novel or a series of novels, and you were done.
What the hell would I, for starters, do with the rest of my time?
I’ve designed and ditched so many novels and series that I’m not even keeping count of them all, anymore. Sometime around the first actual publication, it became clear that new settings will never stop creeping out, and I stopped keeping count.
Non-writers often seem to think that ideas are what matters, and what you’re judged for, as a writer. The originality. The uniqueness. Sure, the more original and the more unique (at least in the beginning of a, say, sub-genre), the better. But in the long run, it’s the quality of writing and the immersiveness of the worldbuilding and the cleverness of plot and the memorability of characters that count way more.
Ideas, which to the non-writing folks apparently seem like the ‘big deal’ are actually like sneaky garden weeds. You could’t kill them if you tried, and, you know, they’re bulletproof. When you finish one story, you’re probably already emotionally attached not to said story, but two or three new, future ones. The thing is, in my experience, ideas never really run out. Motivation and the need to write do. (Yup, it’s a need. Not always in a bad, nor good way.)
But let us stop and think, for a moment, if we did have time enough, and space, to write all of our ideas out. Imagine the moment when we’re done with the final novel of the final spin-off series of the final side character who stole the show. We would’ve had written everything we’d ever imagined, and more. We would be unconquerable. But would we be done with writing and with life in general?
Nope. Because those pesky, stupid, unkillable little ideas about new stories, new characters, new settings, new plot twists, would already start lurking about in our brain and climbing over one another to get our attention. Or treats. Or belly rubs.
And it’s a really good thing. Because, that way, there is always something to look forward to. Something to hope for. Plan for. Get excited for.
And, these days, I’ll take every little bit of positive excitement I can think of, thank you very much.