What to write, what to write?

I've been asking Corey Schwartz, a writing partner, that question a lot this past week.  Ugh.  So many ideas- how do I know which to give my hours, time, commitment and devotion to?  What if I slave away for days, dismissing chocolate and all things lovely, only to produce something that won't submit, much less sell?  How much time should one put into any idea before they figure out whether to embrace it or scrap it? 

When do we stop the madness??????? 

Then I read this excellent blog post this morning by Darcy Pattison, and thought I'd share it here with you all.  It helps to answer my rambling brain's question.

"I've started a new novel: it’s plotted, has character sketches, did research for certain aspects of it, and rewrote a first chapter in about 5 different voices until I’m happy with it.

But the new novel never really caught my passion. I’m interested, love the premise, think the characters have great potential and I’d really like to read this book. Really.

But somehow, the passion never came. The drive to get to the computer to see what happens next, to make the next section come to life.

So, one day, I started reading through all the old novels that life in bits and bytes on my computer and — well, one caught my interest. It’s a novel that was too edgy when I wrote it, and now, seems tame in comparison to today’s edgy. But, with some work, some revision, maybe. . .

Last week and this week, I can’t wait to get to the computer and work. This is the right story to be working on right now: its time has come.

Sometimes, we wander through this writing life not knowing what to work on next, where to turn. What story would sell the best, what would please editors or readers? Wrong questions: where’s the passion? I know I”m doing some of the best work I’ve ever done on this story because, finally, I’ve found a story that excites me. Finally, I care."

Love that.

How do you know when to pursue an idea and when to leave it behind?  Leave a comment - I'd love to know!

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