My one friend describes her attention span like a dog that whips his head around at every noise, hunting for a squirrel. But the dog never gets the squirrel because as soon as he locks in on one, he finds another.
I identified with her analogy from time to time, but, ultimately, I consider myself focused person for the most part. But, as of today, I’m grappling with my old frienemy, Indecision. So I’ve invited him as a guest here this afternoon. Indecision, why don’t you tell everyone why you’re here?
Indecision: It’s almost November, so it’s time once again for you to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days.
Me: Yes, and I had a plan for that… well, I had characters and some scenes written out.
Indecision: I know, but, hear me out, that short story you wrote was awesome. I mean, it’s that kind of high concept, non-dystopian future story that agents and publishers are looking for right now.
Me: All right, so you think that I should abandon Patient 292 in favor of… What’s our working title here, Vera the Virus? Maybe just Viral or Virus? Or how about a play on words like Going Viral?
Indecision: O.K., do you really think I’m the right person to come to for advice on your title? But to answer your first question, I’m not sure. See, you know at least the two main characters intimately in Patient 292, it’s a part of your Regrettable series and it’s important to keep that ball rolling, and you already know how you want it to end.
Me: If it’s important to develop my Regrettable series, then why shouldn’t I just write Patient 292?
Indecision: Because Virus or whatever might be the proverbial “one” that puts you on mainstream bookshelves. Its futuristic setting is a little more popular with the masses, because, let’s face it, steampunk is cool, but it’s pretty niche. Once your name is out there, people will find your quirkier material.
Me: But shouldn’t I write for me and not the market? Wasn’t that the whole point when I started?
Indecision: The virus story was for you. When you wrote it, you thought you wouldn’t show it to anyone, you just needed to get it out.
Me: You make good arguments, but it’s time for you to go so I can get to actually making a decision.
Well folks, in conclusion, Indecision isn’t evil, he’s just misguided. Indecision can help you find and explore new ideas and eventually lead you to where you want to go, but you can’t follow him forever. You’ve got to carve out your own path.