Damn it, Brain: Help

I’m going along, minding my own writer-y business, and then my brain pops up with a nearly fully-formed idea to throw at me just in time for National Novel Writing Month. Now I have a dilemma.

I HAVE. TOO MANY. IDEAS. illustrated by Pyon Dattebayo

illustrated by Pyon Dattebayo

My plan was to continue on my WIP – the second book in the series I’ve been working on for a while (the first book of which is currently in the hands of people who might be interested). It’s about 2/3 of the way done, and my sister (my world’s biggest fan) nags me almost daily about sending her the latest part. I think it would be good practice for me to push myself with a project I’m currently working on, versus a brand new one.

Last year I completely switched gears and dusted off an old story idea that had been sitting there and doing nothing, and gave it a few twists to make things more interesting. Writing from a male perspective, for example. I learned several things about myself as a writer. But now I’m nervous that I was able to do what I did because it was a (basically) brand new story. I didn’t have 47k words already invested, and several complicated points from the previous book of which I needed to keep track. I wasn’t worried about screwing it up.

The point being: I thought it would be a really good experience to continue with my WIP and see what new things I discovered about myself as a writer (plus, finishing Book 2).

But now I have a brand spanking new idea that is demanding my attention. While this isn’t uncommon for my brain to spout things off randomly, this one is just conveniently in time for NaNoWriMo. And it’s COOL. And, it has a plot line that’s already unraveling at a startling rate.

So I’ll throw it out to all my WordPress blogging writer friends. On a logical level, what do you think: continue my WIP and discover how I behave under pressure with a story I’m more invested in, or take a creative break and work on something new and fun to refresh the creative juices?

To add, here are the rough snapshots of both:


Book 2 of my society set in a land where the environmental collapsed centuries ago, the civil rights have yet to occur, and magic runs rampant:

In the pervious book, Fairian was on a quest to discover the secrets of magic after supernatural creatures killed her sister – and stumbled upon something much bigger than she imagined. Now, in the crosshairs of any creature looking to find power due to her connection to the most powerful being on the planet, she’s involved in assassination plots, kidnapping schemes, and general saving of gentlemen and damsels in distress. That is, if her superhero adventures would stop being interrupted by courtly life and her mother’s attempts to marry her off.


After her parent’s death in a car crash, Sadie uproots her life to move in with her grandfather, a world-famous and eccentric fashion designer… who also owns one of the biggest playboy mansions on the West Coast. Thrust straight into the cutthroat world of fashion, her grandfather’s wicked sense of humor, and the rabid attention of media and design critics, dealing with grief becomes the last thing on her mind. Yet being distracted by the flashy world of fashion – and the devilishly handsome Austin, who takes more than a business interest in her – may be exactly what Sadie needs.

When life kicks you in the teeth, what else can you do but revel in the insanity of being human?

THERE. Those are my choices. I refuse to add more.

(Though I might freak out at the last second and think I should work on something else, like several other awesome ideas I have but haven’t worked on. Last NaNoWriMo I decided THE DAY BEFORE to participate, so there wasn’t much time for waffling)



Who else is really excited for the upcoming NaNoWriMo? What are you going to work on? Are you having problems making a decision on a story/plot/character name? 


About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. Taking interesting concepts and dropping complex characters into fantastical worlds is my jam. I also raise dairy goats and herd cats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

16 responses to “Damn it, Brain: Help

  • Todd Louis

    I’m quite lost myself. I’m in contemplation about whether or not to do NaNoWriMo (it would be my first time) and if I did, I have no idea to go on for it. In your case, if you feel like you need a break, choose the latter, and if you feel like NaNoWriMo will pressure you in a positive way work on your current WIP. Sorry, I’m not very good at decision making.

    Liked by 1 person

    • R. K. Brainerd

      Last year I decided the day before – you’ve still got time to decide. 😉 Do you have any (I would go with previously unwritten) ideas written down somewhere you’ve forgotten about? Or, you could choose some absolutely random things (Lord of the Rings meets… Pitch Perfect!) to put together, and start building a world from there! It’s a really supportive community and really is about having fun. I’d go create an account on nanowrimo.org and explore the forums – they’re really cool.

      See, I could use a break AND I want the pressure for my WIP… (I’m not any better at decision-making, obviously). Thanks for your input. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  • Sue, the YA Author

    I understand your dilemma- you have so much invested in books one and two. But here’s the thing- and this is just my two cents- if book one does get picked up, count on some major revisions. Who knows how that will effect plot structures or details on book 2? Any publisher would be happy knowing you have so much completed on the second book! So, if your creativity needs a break, and it sounds like it might, why not try nano? You can always switch to back to book 2. Sometimes I have to listen to my inner creative voice and go off track. It’s astounding the things I discover when I do!
    And… This new book sounds intriguing! Good luck either way. I’m sure there are writers wishing they were in your position!

    Liked by 1 person

  • NaNoWriMo: Day One | Awake Dragon

    […] I finally decided my dilemma: I’m continuing with my current WIP. I probably do need the creativity break, but I’d […]


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