“Multiple Projects”: Friend or Foe

For those of you who know me (or have looked through my website) you will see that I am currently working on/ polishing/ editing/ writing several different projects at once. I was recently asked if this was a good thing.

That is a tricky question.

Overall, I would say, yes. I love the fact that I can jump around between different things if I get bored or tired. I love that if I’m stuck on one thing I can take a break and work on something else.

But it IS exhausting at times, mainly because I want to get everything finished at once, which, for anyone whose ever written anything, knows is impossible. It is daunting at times to feel like you have so many great things in progress, but very little of it actually finished.  I was surprised however, when I asked around at how long it takes many writers to finish anything when, especially if like me, they have to work full-time on top of their writing. When I looked at some statistics, I found that I actually make quite amazing progress, even with all the things I’m working on at once.

What’s my secret? It may sound silly, but I have what I call a highlighter schedule. Seriously! I distribute my projects throughout the week then highlight each of them in a different color. It may sound strange, and somewhat 2nd grade-ish, but it works for me. And the schedule is bright and colorful, which makes it seem like less of a chore. There is no time-table or word count goal. The only requirement is that I have to work on whatever is listed for that day. It keeps me in check to see where I’m at in the story or for agent/publisher research or whatever happens to be listed. If I end up wanting to work on something else as well, that’s fine, but only if I’ve worked on what’s scheduled for the day first. Even if it’s 15 min or a paragraph.

And I do take one day off a week, just to give my brain (and fingers) a rest.

So overall? Multiple projects are my friend. Although for all of you that have heard me complain about how overwhelmed I am with so many things going on…  thanks for listening to me. And I hope you will continue to do so.

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