Tackling Project Indecision

I was asked this question on Twitter yesterday:

I gotta ask, have you ever had so many projects going on, you didn’t know which one to do next?

Hah, man, yeah. All the time. Freelancing taught me a rule: Just Start Something.

But that’s easy to say. Maybe you have four ideas, all of them playing tug-of-war with your attention. Maybe you have one project with five chapters all vying for attention. Whatever the scope, it’s easy to not know where to start.

So I write down all the things I could start — that way, they’re out of my head and on paper so I don’t have to keep track of them mentally. And I pick one. Whichever one calls out at me loudest, or at random, whatever. I post it up somewhere, start new empty documents with each of them as titles, etc. I’ve been doing that lately with Mythender.

Now, it could turn out that I’m starting the wrong thing first. And that awkward little fear has kept many a person for leaping in. But you won’t know if you’re working out of order until you actually start working. And nothing’s saying you have a schedule frozen in carbonite when you start a project.

Pick something, and if your flow or momentum sputters, switch it up. You’re going to be revising everything you write anyway (if you’re worth a damn), so you might as well get some random shit on the page so you know what you’re doing when you come back to that piece of work.

Related post: Overthinking is Toxic

– Ryan