Active Imagination: A Blessing or a Curse?

You would think that as a writer, an active imagination would be a good thing wouldn’t you? After all, this is where story ideas come from. In that respect, an active imagination is a good thing.

What if too many ideas flood your mind at the same time, though? When you have so many story ideas running through your head at the same time, it can be hard to know what project you should start working on next. It can be hard to stay focused on a work in progress when you have other story ideas jump to the front of your mind.

This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I was looking at the story idea generators on Seventh Sanctum, and one of them jumped out at me. Seeing the possibilities for one particular idea, my mind started racing. I started seeing ways I could expand on the idea, and make it an original story. Then, while this idea was running through my head, another totally different story surfaced, a story based on nightmares and bad dreams.

When this happens, a dilemma comes up. Do I continue with my current work in progress? Do I choose one of the new stories and start on it? Do I attempt to work on several stories at once? Time will tell. What actually gets done, and what gets set aside for later? I’m sure more ideas will crop up while I’m working on these projects.