The other day I wrote about how I wish I could start a habit of writing fiction every day, and I tossed in an aside to the effect of “That gives me another idea, but I’m going to hold that in abeyance until the idea is more fully formed.” Today I am still not going to say what the idea is, but it is indeed forming a little more fully.
I have recently rediscovered that when I announce I’m going to do something, something quirky triggers in my mind and refuses to follow through with the announcement. It’s annoying and frustrating — it only happens when it’s a personal project, not a day-job commitment — but it’s real enough that if I follow through with this idea, the product will become known when it appears on the scene, and I will not be announcing it beyond aggravating hints like this one.
This seems to be the only way I can succeed at my creative projects. I can announce that I will write and release a novel next spring about a dinosaur rising from beneath the sea — remember? That was in 2015 and you still haven’t seen that novel. But last year I did not announce I had committed to writing a blog post every day until close to a month had passed and I was announcing something that was now obvious. My last four new books — How to Play a Blue Guitar, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes and Full — basically just appeared without advance fanfare. That seems to be how I complete projects: by not talking about them until they’re done.
And so my cool idea, if I go through with it, is just going to appear one of these days. Under my current thinking, you should check around New Year’s to see if anything interesting has begun with my name attached. Maybe I’ll make an announcement a week or two ahead of time if it’s clear I have enough momentum that the quirk in my brain couldn’t stop the project even if I wanted it to.
But most likely you’ll see something on Jan. 1 — or I’ll post a link to it from here — and you can say, “Oh, that must be that idea he had in November come to fruition.” And the rest will be history, or not.