Me: *Stares at WIP on screen.*
SNI #1: Psst. Dianne.
Me: Go away. I’m busy.
SNI #1: It’s me. Your manuscript, XXXX, that you shelved two years ago. I was thinking, what if you changed me from YA to MG?
Me: That would be a major change. I’d have to practically gut the story and start over.
SNI #1: But it would address some of the feedback you got. All of the feedback, really.
Me: That’s a really interesting idea, but I’m working on something else right now. *Stares at WIP. Types a comma. Deletes the comma.*
SNI #1: While you’re stuck, why don’t you make up a side-by-side outline – my chapters as they are now, and what would have to change to make the story MG.
Me: I’m not stuck. You’re bothering me.
SNI #1: Okay. I’ll go. But think about it.
Me: *Decides to re-read current chapter so far. Changes three words.*
SNI #2: Hey, Dianne, weren’t those two articles you read last night pretty cool? The one about gravitational waves and the other about turbulence and Van Gogh’s The Starry Night?
Me: Who are you?
SNI #2: You know who I am. Put the ideas in those two articles together and you get …
SNI #2: That’s right. Remember those 4 awesome adult science fiction books you read while you were laid up with a broken foot last month? If you were to write down your favorite thing about each of them, put that list together with the gravitational wave/turbulence thing, you’d probably have a really cool plan for a new story.
Me: But I’m busy with this other project right now.
SNI #2: Really? Doesn’t look like it.
SNI #3: And what about me?
Me: I remember you. I outlined you.
SNI #3: And then you never wrote me.
Me: You were boring. Like every other book idea I've tried to outline. I'm a pantster, and I need to accept that.
SNI #3: Maybe I wouldn’t be so boring if SNI #2 wasn’t hogging all the good ideas. Put the turbulence in my book! I want the cosmic turbulence!
Me: Look, I don’t want to write you now. *Points at WIP.* I like this one. My critique partners like this one. This is what I need to work on right now.
SNI #3: So why aren’t you typing?
Good question! Why aren’t I typing?
Maybe because my mind looks like this inside?
What's keeping you from writing today?