Eyes Bigger than Your Pen

I have this problem, and I may have mentioned it before, but I always have had this habit of biting off more than I can chew. I have WAY too many projects in progress. I treat my writing as a second job (or rather, a first job, and my day job is second), and I happen to be sick right now, but I don’t take breaks unless my body is physically incapable of not taking a break.

Likewise, when I get an idea for a writing project, what starts as a couple of characters and a scene no sooner balloons into a plot than it does a multi-novel series.

And yes, the bug has bit me again. This time is an alt-history sci-fi series, and I don’t even know how long it’s going to be. LONG, okay, LONG.

I guess I could call this proclivity toward self-torture and tea-fueled sleepless nights (because I think I’ll be working on the first in the series for NaNoWriMo this year) a negative or a failing. That would be the easy thing to do, for sure.

I prefer to think of it as a good thing. After all, I never leave anything permanently unfinished, and the more irons I have in the fire, the less likely I am to be totally bored with all my work. Maybe the series won’t satisfy me in the end, but the things I’ll learn from trying to put it together will be valuable to my growth as a writer, as a person, as a consumer of literature and culture.

And it should give me opportunities to work through some interesting philosophical questions, which I think is what writing is for, really.

So take on the big things! Even if it doesn’t come out quite as you want, you’ll gain so much from having eyes bigger than your stomach (or pen?), and the next time that massive idea won’t seem quite so massive. You’ll have done it before!




About Charlotte Blackwood

Charlotte Blackwood is a self-employed aspiring author working on perfecting her first novella/ first novel. She is a current student at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA. If you're looking for a reading list (someday she'll add her own works to the list), she's currently supporting Anna Karenina, anything by Dickens, anything by Tolkien, anything by JK Rowling, A Song of Ice and Fire, and The Hunger Games.

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