Letters to My Editor: Love All Puppies, House a Few

What does a working relationship between a writer and an editor look like? Author and HNE client, Jessie Clever and I have known each other for more than ten years. So in our case, it looks a little snarky.

Welcome to Letters to My Editor. She writes to me one week on her blog. I reply the next on mine. Mayhem just might ensue.

Click here to read Jessie’s most recent letter.

Letters-to-My-Editor_edited-1Dear Jessie,

What do you do when you’ve got too many ideas in your head to focus on one story? I’ve got a quick answer, but you’ll hate it:

Write. Finish something.

Worst advice ever, right? However, while those other ideas and obligations are important, you’re a writer, first and foremost. You don’t succeed in all the other obligations or by exploring new ideas if you don’t finish something.

Story ideas are like puppies. Heck yes, I’m going to love every puppy that crosses my path. I’ll gladly play with them, let them chew and slobber on me. I’ll desperately want to take all puppies home, but I’ve already got two dogs that need my care and attention. Someday, I’ll get another puppy, but for now, I’m focusing on Gordon and Hal.

Let the ideas chew and slobber on you. Love all of them. Play with them, because you’ll definitely want ideas for what kind of story you write next. But come home to the stories that are already there. They aren’t complete yet and need your care and attention. (Plus, the more distractions, the higher your stress level rises above what’s manageable.)

That takes us back to:

Write. Finish something.

Then you can get a new puppy!



P.S. I know you. Don’t type your shiny new ideas. If you get a keyboard under your fingers, you’ll never stop. Use a smelly notebook and a dull pencil.

P.P.S. I didn’t include kittens in my analogy. Schrödinger and I basically share a single personality. I love my cat, but one fur-me is enough. Still, I felt traitorous not mentioning him.

Be sure to subscribe to Jessie’s blog at Romancing a Blog to get her next letter!

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