I imagine that many bloggers would consider themselves writers. I haven’t posted any of my real writing on here, but I suppose that writing a blog post is similar to writing a story (be it a short story, a novel, a poem, etc.)

I consider myself a writer but, as I’ve said before, it’s less than a profession but more than a hobby. However, I, like most writers, often encounter problems while writing. We’re all familiar with writer’s block. I refuse to believe there is a writer who has never experienced writer’s block. That writer does not exist.

I, myself, suffer from what I have dubbed “Flighting Idea Syndrome.” Many of you may also suffer from this debilitating disease without even knowing it. Flighting Idea Syndrome (FIS) can be characterized by the sufferer exhibiting symptoms similar to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). You can never stick with one idea for very long. Before you’ve had a chance to accomplish much of anything, a new, superior idea has infiltrated your mind. There’s no going back.

Maybe you know the feeling: You come up with a brand new idea. It’s like a present. It reminds me of the Dancin’ Debbie doll I got from my parents for Christmas when I was 6. I kept seeing Debbie on TV, and I had been begging for one of my own. I just knew I was getting it and I couldn’t wait. Then, on that fateful Christmas morning, there it was. Dancin’ Debbie in all her glory. I feverishly unwrapped the package, while I sent my mom to look for AA batteries. I finally had a Dancin’ Debbie doll. I immediately discarded the instructions and took Debbie’s assembly into my questionably capable hands. Debbie was ready to dance.

Normally, one of two things happens at this stage of the story.

Option 1Dancin’ Debbie is an immediate disappointment. I should’ve gotten the Powderpuff Girls wristwatch. Luckily my birthday is soon.
Option 2Dancin’ Debbie makes all my dreams come true. She is everything I ever dreamed of and more. 2 days later, I’m really tired of hearing Debbie say, “c’mon, lets groove!”

[Spoiler Alert: As for Dancin’ Debbie, she reached the same fate as many a toy… That’s right. Option 2. But I got a Powderpuff Girls watch and a Totally Hair Barbie for my birthday.]

Now I’ll rephrase these options in terms of writing:

Option 1: You think you have a really great idea. You sit down to write. You stare at the wall for 15 minutes, then you finally put pen to paper. You begin writing your name, surrounding it with hearts, swirls, and lots of fun doodles. Okay, obviously this is distracting. You should use your laptop. You know, your laptop. The place where Facebook lives. And Pinterest. And the most deadly distraction of them all: Netflix. After binge watching an entire season of Scandal, you’re feeling inspired. That blank page is really daunting. What was your idea again? Oh, yeah. Would you look at the time? It’s half past “you’re hungry.” Okay, you go get a hot pocket, and then you will write for 1 hour. No excuses. Should you get a ham and cheese hot pocket or should you go for meatball and mozzarella? Is that even a question? Obviously ham and cheese. Good thing it only takes a hot pocket two minutes to cook! You’re ready to start writing. Go ahead and set a timer. One hour. Yes, here we go. Yep, it’s happening. You are writing. Pens and paper and words, it’s all happening right before your very eyes. Your idea isn’t flourishing as you’d expected. Come to think of it, your idea is kind of lame. Really, though. Sigh. You finally get the mindset to sit down and do something with your life. You choose that moment to determine that your idea is actually crap. You should’ve used the two minutes your hot pocket was cooking to perfection to make sure your idea didn’t suck. And if you decided that it did, you could cook another hot pocket and come up with a better idea while that one cooks. But you didn’t. Your paper now looks like this:

the sbsp

(That’s writer’s block with a side of procrastination. Back to the drawing board.)

Option 2: There you are, minding your own business when it happens. You have an epiphany. This beautiful idea is allowing you inside its imaginative world. You’ve never seen anything like it! You begin writing feverishly. This is it. You expand on your idea, everything is falling together quite nicely. You’re already envisioning how your photo will look above the title “New York Times Best Selling Author.” All of a sudden you’re paralyzed. An idea, a brand new idea, has overtaken you. You have been taken prisoner by the new idea. You tell your old idea that you’ll write when you can, and you’re whisked away by your brand new idea. You’ve put your memories of your old idea into the darkest recesses of your mind, and you are completely smitten with your new idea. Your brand new idea loves you back, but it has this feeling that you’re not devoted to it; you’ll abandon it the second that another shiny, new idea makes its way into your sights. Sure enough, your new idea was right. Idea #2 is left broken-hearted, attending therapy sessions every other Wednesday to cope with losing you. Your idea still loves you but, emotionally, this is pretty much where you are at this point in your relationship with idea #2:

not important to huey

You decide to go online to search for new ideas to meet. IdeaMingle.com. Hmm. Maybe you’ll check this page out. Success stories, yes! Stacey, 29 writes: “My idea and I have been together for 3 years, thanks to IdeaMingle.com!” Marshall, 42 also shares his experience: “I owe everything to IdeaMingle.com! My idea and I have been together for 6 novels now. We’re even expecting a novella next month! Thanks IdeaMingle!” Your eyes grow wide with excitement, as you imagine what your own success story will look like. You and your idea on your anniversary, still very much in love, with your 2 beautiful novels. Well if Stacey and Marshall did it, so should you! You create a profile and begin browsing. Before you know it, you have 14 idea matches! You’re meeting #6 for coffee on Thursday at 5:00. #9 is taking you to see a play tomorrow night. #13 canceled on you. Schedule conflicts. But it’s okay, because you have #2, who took you out last night to wine and dine its way into your next novel.

If you haven’t figured out, this is option 2. A severe case of Flighting Idea Syndrome. You would think a lot of ideas would be great, so many to choose from, but it’s clearly stressing you out. You can’t devote your attention to one single idea; instead you’re dividing yourself between them, and now no one’s happy.

Both of these conditions are incredibly hard to overcome. Which is why I come to you all for advice. Have any of you ever dealt with either of these issues? (AKA you have or you’re a liar.) If so, comment and let me know! Tell me what helped you overcome writer’s block or FIS. Thanks for reading.

  1. thebravestbear says:

    Oh my God I have definitely dealt with this. Especially when I was younger and wrote more. I still have piles of notebooks and folders full of not even half written stories that I have abandoned for the next one. The best idea I have found is posting what you write on your blog and if your readers like it they will encourage you to write more and that’s a huge motivator.
    By the way, I love the way you write, you have so much voice. Looking forward to future posts!!

    • Thank you so much! I’ve always been kind of nervous about posting my writing on here for some reason, but I’ll have to give that a try! Thank you! 🙂

      • thebravestbear says:

        Do it! You have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain. Plus you’re awesome at writing. Can’t wait to see more of your work, lady 🙂

  2. love this post! And I completely understand.. I feel like as time goes on, I inevitably become less attached to story ideas because they seem so much less exciting. My solution so far has been to write short stories just so I can finish what I start. In terms of longer stories and novels, though, I can’t speak from experience. I believe, however, that a writer writes best when he/she is writing what he/she cares about, and a lot of story ideas I have are thrown away because I simply don’t care about certain things anymore. I’d say the best way to stick with an idea is to have an idea about something that you’ve truly cared about for a long time, so it’s unlikely to change. We outgrow toys and innocence, whereas our knowledge of family, friendship, betrayal, love, diversity, etc. can only grow. Hope this was helpful!

    • I have been trying to do some short stories! I figured it would help me see that I could at least finish something! Thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it! 🙂

  3. […] Writer’s Block, Flighting Idea Syndrome and Other Pleasantries […]

  4. Sonja says:

    I love your blog! I am so into option 1. I homeschool my two teens and I do volunteer work and take care of my mother. I try to fit in writing when I can. I procrastinate way too much. I read somewhere that you should spend time every day writing. Then, in another place, I read that you should write when you can (not necessarily every day). There are so many self-help books out there. And they all have varying degrees of advice. I have been working on a novel for the better part of a year. I still only have an outline and three chapters written. I had put it away for months. I have returned to it but find that my ideas just aren’t flowing anymore. I have rewritten my outline twice. I have changed my villain to a good guy – then back to a villain. When I find that things aren’t coming together for the novel, I take a break and write on something else. That is why I have my blog. I look elsewhere for writing prompts. I usually go to http://www.dailycompass.org, http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts or http://www.pw.org/writing-prompts-exercises. There is also a random writing prompt generator at http://www.languageisavirus.com/writing_prompts.html#.U6L7HbFnDhA. When I get stuck for a name or a setting or other detail, I usually check out http://www.seventhsanctum.com.The hard part is actually doing the writing and staying away from Facebook or iFunny, or Comic Strips, or Pinterest, or…. I write fantasy stories. So another thing I do to get the ideas flowing is to play D&D. I don’t like to play so much as DM. I write the storyline and have others play it. I have been known to throw in something from a story I am working on and have the players play through it. I get some awesome dialog then (that is real and sometimes conflict-ridden).

    Would it be alright if I reposted this to my blog or used Press This? I would love to share your thoughts with my readers!

    • Thank you so much for checking it out, I’m glad you like it! Feel free to share it, I would really appreciate it!
      It’s nice seeing people comment saying that they can relate to this, because I am in a constant battle with it! The reason I actually wrote this post was because I was getting frustrated with my novel, so I took a blogging break! Thank you for sharing the websites with writing prompts, I love love love doing those. Seventh Sanctum is also great. I was doing a sort of fantasy novel a while back (didn’t get far enough into it to even determine the genre) and seventh sanctum was a big help!

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, I really appreciate it!

  5. Sonja says:

    Reblogged this on A Day in the Life and commented:
    This is from a fellow blogger, with permission. You can check out her blog at creativityisdefiance.wordpress.com. She is a great writer!

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