Those who don’t write often ask me, how do you work on multiple projects at once?
Yes, I have been known to put out a lot of work within a short period of time. I often joke, well, I took so much time off between my first publication and my second that I had to make up for lost time! 16 years no less!
But, seriously, I had so much to throw down that a lot happened at once. For my first four years of publishing (this time around), I have published at least 20 works (mostly short works) a year.
That is a lot.
This year is a bit different, as I have taken a step back to focus on longer works and less on shorter ones that find themselves published quickly.
Yet, even while taking a break from the whole “I must publish x amount of works this year” mentality, I am still working on multiple projects: 1 fantasy novella, 1 full length women’s fiction, a creative writing prompt book, and a collection of poems inspired by containment/lockdown.
The trick is that I don’t actually work on all of these at once, or even all within the same week. These are my goals for the year, as that is how I plan my work flow. It is the ultimate project management.
How this all works (at least for me)
The Fleeting Lights project will reach its first pass through read at the end of this week. The global edits to the plot will be made, including timeline hiccups. Let it sit.
On Monday, the 24th, I will embark with my editing coach, the final revisions to Medusa, my novella poetry to fiction conversion project about the infamous gorgon. Timeline not fixed yet, but I would like to have it completed by Thanksgiving. This does not include all the steps in between, like, if it goes to beta readers, new cover, and final production steps.
The prompt book will probably be squeezed into a small slot before the Christmas holiday, as will the poetry collection, before I return to finishing Fleeting Lights beginning in the new year.
Note: how the timeline flows and how you take one project on, while another one is in different stage of production. It also helps that none of the projects are of similar nature. This allows for flexibility and breaks without taking too many actual breaks in writing.
#1 You have to have a timeline for completion, but allow for flexibility
#2 Have the different projects in different stages of development, allowing time for you to see the work with fresh eyes when you return to it
#3 Allow small breaks. It happens, but get back to work.
#4 For accountability, it helps to have a writing partner or coach to keep you motivated. Non-writing friends help, too, as they will bug you–I mean encourage you–to finish the project.
Really, you got to keep going. No matter what it takes.
Write on, my friends.