I used to make exhaustive lists of stories I could write…and then not write them.
List upon list upon list – scribbled illegibly on grease-slicked napkins, scraps of paper torn from magazines, journals, my hand. What’s worse, I used to talk endlessly about them at the least provocation.
“Oh yeah, I’m working on lots of things…developing ideas for novels that will, of course, be turned into screenplays…lots of “works in progress.” Let me tell you about this idea I had…it’s about a group of people (the lost children of Atlantis) that live under the Sargasso Sea…and they’re the reason for the Bermuda Triangle – yeah. I know. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.
I defended my list courageously…
“After all, that’s really the hardest part…the idea is the art. Anyone can write it.
I stalled expertly…
“I’ll get back to these later. Gosh, how am I going to pick just one? Which of these great marketable, bankable, cast-able, serialize-able ideas should I start with? I’ll have to think about that. I’m going to make a list of all the things to think about to prepare me for making the best choice from my list. Yeah.”
I fantasized endlessly…
“All I really need is a partner…one who can, you know, write down all my ideas. Maybe I could just do ideas…someone in Hollywood is looking for good ideas to write about, yeah. I’m going to write down some more.”
I essentially signed on for anything to keep me from doing the one thing that gets a story, or novel, or screenplay written – WRITING IT.
Stop talking about your great story ideas to anyone but yourself (and maybe a little to your mother).
Stop making lists. They only become intimidating after a very short while.
Stop making excuses. Nobody cares.
Start writing. Here. Today. NOW.
Let me know how that works for you.