Have you heard of the Davinci Syndrome? It is the collection of signs and symptoms observed in creative people who have more ideas and visions than they can implement, making it difficult to complete a project before rushing off to the next.
Signs may include:
- rewriting, especially as the book is being written
- editing the first chapter eight times before going on to the next chapter
- procrastination, sharping pencils instead of writing
- forgetting what was written in chapter 3 and ending up with your character living in Chicago in 1974 instead of in Iowa in 1969 in chapter 11
Apparently, Leonardo Davinci had so many ideas, he left some incomplete. Not only that, but some historians believe Davinci was a perfectionist and never truly believed his creations were done. Can you imagine thinking that the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper still needed work?
Besides being a painter and sculptor, Leonardo Davinci was an architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Talk about multi-tasking!
I often feel like I suffer from the Davinci Syndrome. I am basically a short-story writer, primarily non-fiction. I am currently working on my first novel and find myself stuck as I rewrite and try to perfect my characters or plot.
It is fortunate (or maybe not) that I am committed to my novel. It is near and dear to my heart. I will plod along, writing and rewriting, and maybe someday actually finishing it. I have a new group of writer-friends who are encouraging me and keeping me on track. Could they be the “therapy” I need to overcome my Davinci Syndrome?
My short story, “I Have the Coffee On” is in Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul (2000) page 169. It is the story of the North Platte Canteen during WWII.