Episode 69: Choosing a Project When you Feel Overwhelmed by too Many Ideas

As a highly creative person, I’m fairly confident that not having any ideas is not a problem for you. The problem is the opposite. You’ve got SO many ideas and you don’t know which one to focus on. How do you choose when they all sound fun? Or one might be more marketable than another? Or when one feels hard but good and another feels fast and easy but kinda meh?

Here’s what you’ll learn in this solo episode:

  • how to clear your brain so you can decide
  • a handful of questions to ask yourself to help you make your decision

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Ever had IDEA OVERWHELM? It’s what happens when you have so many book ideas and choosing which one to focus on feels really hard. But in order to get to “the end” you’ve got to choose a project on which to focus. How do you choose?

Hi, I’m Amy Isaman, host of the Dear Creativity, Let’ss Write podcast. As a highly creative soul myself, I know well the struggles to decide because they can all sound like fun. So, how can you choose which project to focu son?

First, record all of your ideas and put them on your idea shelf. Get them OUT of your head so you can stop obsessing over them and going to the land of overwhelm and confusion. Jackie Johnston, way back in episode 15 on your human design and creativity talked about using an idea shelf. Basically, the idea behind this is to capture all of your ideas and put them on the shelf. You don’t have to act on them immediately. Sit with them. You can use evernote, google docs, a notebook for this. I use Scrivener, for pretty much everything, including capturing ideas. But, if you want to be able to tag them for searchability, I recommend Evernote.

Now, how do you choose which project to actually start and focus on?

Choose the project that feels the most exciting in your body, NOT the one you feel like you should do or might be the most marketable.

Choose the one that you can't stop thinking about, where you're already imagining scenes, or snippets of dialogue, or new characters. You'll be with this project for a while, so it's important that you've got enough ideas that will take you through from beginning to end. And, feeling excited about it will help keep you motivated when you get to the messy middle.

Choose the one that you feel is most in line with the career you'd like to build as an author. If you have several genres you're considering, do you see yourself continuing to write in and focus on one of those genres over the others? That might be a clue on which one to choose. Obviously, I've totally broken that "stick to one genre" rule and write both historical fiction and contemporary mysteries, but all of my novels do have historical elements in them because I love to research. So, think about genre and future projects.

If you're still not sure which one to pick, is there one that you feel like you can do faster than the others? That won't take as much research? Or that you've already started and have a good bit done?

Getting that momentum and finishing is SO helpful to keeping going.

Don’t choose the project that someone else wants you to choose. Let them write that project. Choose the one that feels good to you!

Finally, don't rush your decision. Sit with this for a bit. Take your time. Feel into it. Meditate on it. And, decide. But once you decide, go all in on one project so you can hit the finish line.

Now…what’s your current project that you’re totally focused on completing?
Then, I’d love to hear how it goes. You can join me over in my FB group, the Book Writer’s Workshop, and share there.
thank you so, so much for listening in. I appreciate you. Hit that subscribe button if you haven't already. AndI’d be ever so grateful if you would give the podcast a rating and review so others can find it. I’ll be back next week. Keep writing. Keep imagining, Keep creating, and as always, have fun. See you in the next episode. Bye bye.

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