So does this happen to you? You are busy working on a piece of writing (or anything else creative), you have a deadline and suddenly a great idea for another piece of work explodes into your head and you are torn….finish what you have to do now, or start on the new idea? And once you start on the new idea, will you ever finish the first idea? Is it worth risking your deadline to make a start on something else entirely?
Well, you might be surprised to learn that this is a good thing; it shows your brain is creatively active and coming up with good ideas. But it can be a tricky decision, and frankly with that new idea bubbling in your brain, you aren’t going to work easily on the first piece. So take one hour - just one hour - to flesh out the new idea, making frantic notes, a mind-map maybe, get all those ideas out of your brain and onto paper which you must keep safely somewhere (one of my big problems - I’m not organised!)
Once you’ve got the new idea fleshed out, in under an hour, put it away, and get back to your first idea and finish that first before tackling the new idea again. That deadline piece must be finished. Of course, having those other ideas on hand is a great thing, and while you are working on the main piece, your brain will continue to work in parallel on the other idea/s. So when you finish the first piece, you will find your brain is happy and ready to work on the new idea.
Of course, working on two ideas at the same time is a good thing too. When your creativity had dried up on the first idea, you’ll find switching to the alternative idea will keep you working and will refresh your brain. But make sure you finish that first idea! Don’t leave it unfinished - you’ll regret it!
Now, what was I doing? Back to work!