After years of trying this and that method, reading books on how to write, blah,blah, I have at last found a successful formula with help from a character in the graphic novel "The Watchmen" and reruns of "Sex and the City".
The station that shows reruns of the Showtime series, shows them out of order so I am left to figure the beginning,middle, and end to each character's relationships. Thus I see one character pregnant before I see the one where she meets her future lover or I see Bigger moving away before I know who the hell he is.This drives me nuts.
Dr. Manhattan in "The Watchmen" experiences his past, present and future in a non-linear manner. Like Billy Pilgrim in Vonnegant's "Children's Crusade" he lives his life in random order. When I started to dream of the blue skinned scientist and his weird non-linear life the creative side of me loved the novel idea of composing stories in one big jumble. It totally freed up that side of my brain. The anal retentive, do everything in a correct order, hated this.
I struck a deal with these two opposing sides. Ms. Creative is given free reign and when she feels she is done, Mr. Anal/retentive takes over and puts all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. I get a thrill with either side doing their vastly different but productive styles.
So the stories I have been postponing have free reign to run in the field of imagination and develop however they please. When they are done the Shepard of order then corrals them back to the homestead and puts them to bed.