I’m one of those crazy writers who work on more than one project at a time. Some writers understand this, some don’t. For me, it’s a natural pattern I’ve fallen into over the years. I’m not sure how I started writing this way, but now that I’m coming down to the finish line with one project, in the back of my mind I’m thinking about what else to juggle alongside the other story I have going. And yes, I have a ton of editing that’s calling my name relentlessly.
I realize I straddle projects because:
- Every so often a news item or conversation sparks a story idea, which has to be fleshed out and written down. Now.
- Writing more than one story at a time prevents me from getting bored. Personality wise, my mind toes numb after a time when I follow the same routine day in and day out.
- Plot points come together and the next few chapters unfold even when I’m not consciously thinking about them.
- I don’t go into emotional overload if I juggle more than one book at a time. You know how it is when you have an intense character. Taking a break gives a fresh perspective and avoids mental breakdown. (Joking here!)
- Contractually, I’m supposed to be writing follow-up novels to the first ones. This is usually the easy part, as my secondary characters tend to come mature and beg for a story.
- Sometimes, due to work and life, I’m too tired to write. When this happens, I take a break from everything. This one is hard to keep up for long stretches of time, because when I don’t write, I feel like I’ve committed a sin and haven’t confessed. Also, since there is always a book that needs my attention, I get to choose which one to jump back into.
I suspect writing the way I do is the reason I can’t claim to have experienced writers block. I don’t recommend this method for anyone else. This probably sounds like total madness for a highly organized writer. For me, writing is an adventure and I aim to keep it that way.
How about you? D’you go book by book or juggle two or three stories and some editing?