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There comes a time when, as writers, we are fortunate enough to have a million ideas in our heads. Maybe we’ve been collecting them for a while or we are looking for something new to start.
When it comes time to pick a new idea to follow, sometimes we can get overwhelmed with the list of things to write about. There’s too many things we want to write about but not enough time to do them all!
Here are some ways you can prioritize your writing ideas to help you pick which one to write about next.
Finish a WIP
Take a look at the works in progress (WIP) you have. How many of those on your list have been started but you just dropped off in the middle?
The awesome part about picking one of these projects to write on is that you’ve already done the hardest part — starting. Now it’s time to finish it. You’ve already got the backbone of the work done and all you have to do is send it toward the ending.
Do it for the money
Look, we all want to claim we write because we love it but we also need to eat. Some of us use writing as our main source of income and some of us do it as a hobby. Even a little side income is nice.
Which of your ideas can make you some money? Maybe it’s writing out a few articles that you can submit for money or maybe you write on Medium. Maybe you have a book that fits perfectly into a genre niche and you can write to market. It’s possible you take on copywriting or freelancing jobs over any other writing project you have.
There are tons of money options out there for writers so think about prioritizing those first.
Do it for the passion
It’s also perfectly fine to pick a project that is just flat out fun. Pick a really cool idea that might not fit any niche or make you money. Write it because you absolutely love it.
As writers, it’s so important to remember why we sit down to write and why we keep telling stories. Sometimes a passion project is exactly what you need to get those juices flowing. Have fun again and build a passion project.
Make something small
Think about an idea that you can package up into a small deliverable. Maybe that’s a helpful ebook. Maybe that’s a quick blog article. Maybe something small like a quick freelancing gig or copywriting project.
One of my newest challenges is publishing a short story every month. More if I can manage on top of my other projects. When you focus on something small, and something you are equipped to handle in a short amount of time, you can really build momentum. There’s nothing more exciting than starting and finishing a project in a shortened timeline. It really helps keep the motivation up and gets you excited.
Switch up your tasks
I don’t believe in multitasking but I do believe in task switching. While I’m still flexible, I give myself time to work on a couple different projects. I know this doesn’t work for everyone but it really helps me stay away from burn out and keeps me motivated.
On a day where I’m not particularly feeling a certain project, I can work on something else rather than sit around doing nothing.
For example, I’m working on a third book in a series, a short story under a pen name, outlining a series, writing here on Medium, and podcasting. The variation in idea coverage, writing style, and type of medium keeps me motivated. If I don’t feel like writing, I can read and podcast or if I don’t really want to sit and do research, I can write on one of my passion projects. Variation is my savior.