I joke so often about my OCD tendencies that I forget a lot of people probably don’t realize this about me. If you know me at all you’ve probably picked up on some of my quirks, but I’m always surprised when a friend discovers just how ingrained these compulsions are.
Some background: I’ve always been rather… particular… about how things are arranged and the order I do things (can you say morning routine?), but I don’t check the oven twenty times before leaving the house or anything like that.
It was recently brought to my attention that I’m unable to not finish something, which sounds like a good thing until you realize that means I won’t start something if I think there’s a chance I won’t be able to finish. I don’t read books unless I’m certain I’ll like them, because there’s no way I’m stopping once I get started. I think I’ve put down three books in my life. I can only think of one movie I’ve turned off (Bruno) and if I fall asleep while watching one, I’ll usually finish it the next day.
Where this becomes a problem is with my writing. As I mentioned last week, I’ve come up with a new idea, but what I didn’t tell you is how terrified I always am that I’ll never come up with another one. My friend Erica helped me brainstorm, then gave me the wonderful advice to start writing it, and just stop if I don’t like where it’s going.
I stared at her open-mouthed, collecting my thoughts. “I can’t do that,” I finally admitted.
And my secret was out. I’ve written three novels and have come up with a total of seven ideas — including books two and three of my trilogy and the latest one. Lots of thoughts whisper through my mind, but I don’t consider them an actual IDEA unless I can see it through to the end.
I don’t expect anyone else to share this quirk, but do you have a personality trait that challenges your writing?