The Horrors of Shiny New Idea Syndrome

Yes, it’s totally a thing.

I was scrolling through several sites with tips on writing and realized something. I am a repeated victim of S.N.I.S. As sad as it is, it’s very true, and it’s something I need to work on changing.

For those unaware, S.N.I.S is one way a sudden spark of inspiration could end up. Now, don’t get me wrong, new ideas are great. Awesome, in fact- new ideas are what keep things moving. But at times when you’re working on a developing project that’s in a fragile state where any small distraction could lead to it being shattered forever (or at least a good long while)… S.N.I.S is most definitely not a friend.

My S.N.I.S has been worse than normal lately. It seems that because I have about fifty billion different things to do and deadlines to meet, my brain wants to come up with all these new characters and plotlines and ideas to make that number into a fifty billion and one. And if I don’t write them out in enough detail, I forget about them. And this infuriates me.

Because I get attached to new ideas very fast. Take the novel I was working on, for example. I loved (well, still love, actually) the idea to pieces, but somehow as I carried on I was having a lot of trouble writing it. Maybe it was the choice of genre, though, who knows? But while I struggled with that one story, I came up with tons of other ideas that were completely unrelated. It took literally all my willpower to file them away for later and not work on them at that very second, but eventually I succumbed to the desire and jumped into a new project.

My novel-in-progress has been filed away since last October, and I have yet to work on it again.

I’m working on another project now. But once again, I’ve been hit by S.N.I.S, because just last night I found another source of inspiration.

And I’m not even going to go into the short stories I have ideas for.

I feel like part of the problem is that I’m overthinking everything rather than actually taking a leap and getting it done. Maybe I should just go for it. Outlines are important, but maybe if I wing it for a couple chapters I’ll strike a chord with my most recent story.

Dreaded S.N.I.S, I think I might just have found a cure for you.


  1. Pingback: Shiny Object Syndrome and Plot Bunnies | A.R. Beckert
  2. Pingback: Shiny Object Syndrome and Plot Bunnies | The Art of Stories
  3. Pingback: When S.N.I.S. becomes an advantage | Wordy & Nerdy

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