Make a list today of all the stories you want to write. You know, the ones that exist only in your mind as fully fleshed-out narratives, which you’re always ‘working on’ but never working on. Is the list encouraging? Does it look like the greatest table of contents to a book you’ve never written? This should inspire you enough to tackle the list and get to the end, right? The truth is, you’ll be lucky to ever finish half of these.
The problem: everyday you go out into the world and go for a walk, or take the bus, or the train, and a new story emerges: Homeless Jeff and the Incident with the Big Mac Coupon, The Granny and the Golden Golf Club, 2 Girls-1 Hawk. At this rate, you will never finish a single story before you start a new one.
But you don't only encounter hindrances to productivity by actually going outside. A single glance away from the computer screen can be hazardous to completion too. For instance, as I tried to write this I looked up from my screen and out the window and chanced upon one white rabbit and one black rabbit chasing each other in circles on the fifth floor balcony across the alley from my building. The unexpected makes the best story. How can I resist my fictive impulses? I opened my notebook and added ‘Balcony Bunnies’ to my list.