Feb. 28, 2021: Multi-tasking as a Writer
One of the topics that often comes up when I am presenting at Writer’s Groups or Conferences, is the overall writing process.
While each writer develops their own routines and processes that fit their life and skill-set, it is often helpful to hear how other writers do things.
There might be writers who begin a project and go through all of the steps in the writing process on that single project before beginning another, however, I believe that the majority of writers have multiple projects going, each at different stages in the writing process.
For example, right now I am in the research and planning stage for one historical fiction middle grades novel; in the first-drafting stage of another middle grades novel; doing revisions on another middle grades novel; and in the submissions stage with another middle grades novel. Yes, I realize that is four different novels that are demanding my focus. But there are benefits to having multiple projects going at once.
- When I hit the inevitable obstacle in one project, I still have others on which to work. This allows me to take a break from the problem project, and yet still be productive. Sometimes that time away can refresh my perspective and provide some inspiration. This also helps me to deal with the inevitable writer’s block that occasionally rears its ugly head.
- Having multiple projects in different stages allows for productive use of those waiting periods. Whether waiting for feedback from an editor during the revision stage, or waiting to hear from the agent or publisher after submission, I can still fill that time with productive work on another project.
- I tend to be more productive in smaller-bursts of time and focus. Probably because of that is what writing time looks like in my life. As a full-time Elementary school teacher and a part-time College Professor, the time left for my writing is usually in 15-30 minute intervals throughout my day or week. This is a perfect length for drafting a scene, writing research notes, or editing a chapter.
Whether you focus solely on one project from start to finish before beginning another, or jump from one project to the next, there is no wrong way to write. As long as you are writing, you are making progress.