The Mistake You’re Making: How to Work On More than One Project at A Time

The Mistake You’re Making: How to Work On More than One Project at A Time

 

Should I write more than one project at a time?

This question is one that is often posed to writers and the subject of a lot of debate in the writing world. Personally, I suggest working on more than one project at once. There are three reasons for this:

  1. Sometimes you just can’t write the next part of your story. Either you need to research, you had to change something or you can’t find the inspiration to write it.
  2. Especially as a new, unpublished writer, it helps to build a following if you can write short stories, poems, and blog posts that will be seen by a wider audience so when you do have something published you’ll have established readership.
  3. Writing Contests! These are great ways to get your work out there in an established publication, and you have clips if you work primarily on shorter stories or poems.
  4. I have too much going on in my head and sometimes it helps to write out my ideas.

 

My typical writing schedule looks like this:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Blog Post for Monday Current Novel in Progress Blog Post

Research Novel Aspects

Current Novel

Short Story

Blog Post

Current Novel

Stories for Contests

Magazine Submissions

Outline

Outline

Outline

 

Yes, I wrote outline three times on Saturday because as a reformed pantser, outlining has become one of the key tools in my writing arsenal.

I also recommend writing more than one project to prevent something I am all too familiar with: burnout. In writing my novel this April for Camp NaNoWriMo, I realized that while I was able to crank out about 2000-5000 words on my novel, it was draining. I love my story, but sometimes being too close in a world you created can make you want to write anything but what you’re working on. I find that if I run into writers block the best thing to do is to set the story aside, work on something else and let your story percolate in your brain. Your subconscious can be a huge help to working through those points you can’t think of, the things that just seem off until you have the flash of inspiration.

Now, while I may not work on my novel every day I am a huge proponent of writing every day. It has helped me create a schedule and a routine so that writing has become not only my job, but a part of the day that I treasure and try to make a priority unless I have a migraine attack and can’t get out of bed. Even then I try, and usually have to remind myself it’s okay to take a break if I can’t see straight.

 

One thought on “The Mistake You’re Making: How to Work On More than One Project at A Time

  1. I have this debate with myself often, namely because I’m a chronic unfinisher. Working on more than one big project at once tends to kill both projects, and I usually can’t get back into either of them until a considerable amount of time has passed, if ever since I’m talking years:)

    But as you said, doing smaller projects can be liberating. I’m currently doing a large fan fiction project and a 100 one-shot challenge for summer. While I need to revise my writing schedule (I just got a new job and while I’m in a library, I think she’d rather me read than write during my downtime), I think once I get settled in again this will really help. I can crank out 8 or 9k without even thinking, but it’s nice to give yourself a change in scenery:)

    Also I sometimes write short stories/one-shots for my big projects when I feel stuck. It can give you direction sometimes, or make it fun again if you want to try something crazy:)

    Like

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