Can A Writer Have Too Many Ideas?

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I’m in fact a little curious how other writers are doing this…

Do you ever feel like your head is bursting with all the ideas you got? How do you sort them out? How do you arrange them?


Let’s say: you get an idea:

·    where do you go with it?

·    how do you know what to do with it?

·    where do you start with it?

·    do you file it? And if yes, where?

·    do you park it until you need it or are ready to write the story?


At times I feel like my head is exploding, having so many ideas while at other days my brain just goes blank. But once I get these ideas, what am I doing with them? I do have a file on my computer, named “ideas.” Occasionally I go back to find out if they’re useful at that moment. And so many times I realized, that I’ve got no clue what I wanted with that idea or where to go from there. It can be annoying.

Right now I’m working on a series of novellas and novels… the first book of the series is completed and with the editor now. So is the third one.

I’m still writing the second one… but since the first and second’s character’s are “overlapping” I need to work very carefully on that second book to not make plot mistakes I don’t want to expect my future readers to put up with.

I admit, my thoughts, my idea developing and my research circle mainly around this particular series.

When I lately needed a break from working on my second book, I found myself having a brainwave. And instead of “parking” the idea in my particular file, I decided instead to start on the fourth book of the series. I have huge plans for that book, considering I briefly introduced a few of this particular’s story’s characters to my readers of this blog.

To my great astonishment, I found myself writing like crazy on that fourth book. I’m enthusiastic since it seems I only have to put pen to paper and it writes nearly by itself.

Until a few weeks ago when I discovered a new major character of the series I repeated what I did before and quickly decided not to “park” the idea until I get there, but just start the fifth book of the series.

Here I am now, at the same time working on the second, the fourth and the fifth book of the series.

I was asking myself: am I getting into conflicts? What will happen if I can’t ‘switch’ quickly enough and start making mistakes? But so far I’m good, I know exactly which character belongs where and what my plans with them are.

And still: There is this one question: Did I have too many ideas at the same time? Can I continue like this? How are other writers handling this kind of “idea attack”?

Do you ever feel like having “too many ideas”? Are you writing on one and one book or story? Am I doing something wrong?  Please, help me out, I’d be grateful for your opinion.

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29 thoughts on “Can A Writer Have Too Many Ideas?

  1. I don’t think you can ever have too many ideas, it’s not having enough time to write them all that’s the problem! I have notebooks full of various ideas – some just a couple of lines scribbled down, others running to thousands of words and occasional diagrams. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to them all, or even a fraction, but they are handy to look through now and again – if only to remind myself that I am capable of having lots of ideas!
    There is no right or wrong way to handle the ‘ideas influx’ – every writer is different. I am currently working on my third novel (the second in a series) but find that my mind wants to play with other things too, so I started up another short series on my blog and even took the drastic action of starting a whole new blog for an idea that was on a larger scale than a novelette or short story. It’s a lot of writing, but switching between the three keeps my brain fresh and interested.

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  2. What an interesting peek into a REAL author’s mind…I have several ideas for “projects” (usually courses to offer or redecorating or downsizing) going around “in there” at once too. As I tell my students about their writing papers, “Let the ideas percolate in your mind a few days before writing the final draft.” To make it fun, I bring an old 1950’s percolator, plug it in and brew coffee in class to let them see in the little glass top the coffee/ideas swirling and bubbling away. I usually bake cookies to go with the coffee. I meet my new “crop” of writers on Thursday. I love new semesters and new groups of students!

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  3. I am currently editing a standalone novel and writing a serial for my blog, which is a prequel to my fantasy series. I also have book 3 of the said series finished and waiting for the edits and rewrites.

    I’ve also just finished a historical novel and half finished another, under a pen name. The first is waiting for rewrites.

    Finally, I have another fantasy series started and I need to start on Book 4 of the first series.

    So, no, I don’t think it’s unusual to have lots of ideas. I’ve got others hanging around in the back of my head. I’ve written a few ideas down, but if the idea is good, then I think it hangs around and demands to be told.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooookay.. LOL I’m feeling a bit embarrassed now blogging about all my ideas – and here you are reading about you busying yourself with about triple the amount of writing. 🙂
      Thanks so much for sharing this with us! 😀


  4. Great post. I carry notebooks and also make notes on the computer regarding new ideas, however, I am guilty of letting a few good ones slip- an inconvenient moment that can sometimes involve being on the brink of drifting off to sleep! Or sometimes because I’m in transit or at work and just can’t. I am incredibly impressed that you can hold and write three novels simultaneously. Mathematicians, complex theory scientists, artists, and musicians have this gift of holding a heck of a lot at one time. I certainly don’t have this gift and have to do things one at a time – I have to to see this novel through its very final edits before I can begin to start on one of my other ideas. Then armed with my new ideas/notes, I know I will throw myself into that until I’ve finished before moving onto the next. I’m very linear. (Although, you never know, the process of writing could change for me) I do, though, have so, so, so many ideas buzzing round my head and relieve the ones that I won’t use in my future novels through my blogs. I have a rich imagination and feel confident that armed with my notes, the right material will come up at the right time during the writing process. That comes from doing a lot of improvised theatre. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the process that works for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for dropping in, reading and leaving your valuable comment. I’m always very much interested in reading how other authors are doing things. There’s always a way for me to learn new things or maybe re-thing my way of writing.
      Your opinion and your way of handling this is so much appreciated! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think there is such a thing as too many ideas for a writer, and if you’re receiving a fount of ideas for multiple novels that is a blessing. Ideas for my writing can be very gradual, I worked on some short stories for years. (Fortunately my process has moved out of first gear since then.)
    When I get an idea I write it down with pen and paper. But sometimes I get an idea so good that I can’t forget it so I can take my time committing it to paper and then into the desktop.
    Keep going with whatever method of recording ideas works for you. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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