One of the most useful writing methods that I use is to have many different writing projects open and moving forward at the same time.
I can see how this methodology might drive some writers mad. For me, however, I thrive in the messy realm of multiple stories and even multiple genres. What, in my estimation, are the advantages of such a messy model?
- What’s writer’s block? When you have five ideas going all at once, it’s not hard to keep going on at least one of them.
- Boredom, away! A writer can, at times, get bogged down in the minutia of a story and you just need a change of pace. The other day, I went from doing some hard work thinking on my new novel to writing a silly play about fruit. It was a delightful change which will bring forth a bountiful harvest of renewed vigor for my novel when I get back to it.
- Accomplishment is something. A novel is a long process. I usually write one over a 2-3 month period if I have minimal interruptions. But it can take many, many more months to write it if it ends up being a weekend project because of other work commitments. This is where a second writing gig is helpful. I can write a first draft of a short play in two hours or so. That means during those long and unfruitful novel months when I’m waiting for a large chunk of time to write it, I can still FINISH something. And let’s now lie, here. Writers LOVE to finish things. You know the old writer’s quote – “I hate writing, but I love to have written.”
- Press pause to refresh your ideas. Walking away from one piece of writing for a while is beneficial. Ideas need to stir. More input from the world will lead to new and better ideas. But walking away from a piece of writing doesn’t mean you need to walk away from writing altogether. No way. That’s where a secondary or tertiary project is of the utmost help.
I am a little at the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to multiple writing projects. Perhaps for you only one additional project would work, but for me, there’s nothing like twelve things to think about at once. Here’s a few of the things I’m currently working on:
- pre-writing on book three of my new trilogy
- writing a series of 8 short plays to form my new drama show “Crazy Love”
- 1 historical based musical is on the back-burner
- 2 full-length plays that I have started but plan to finish in the next couple of weeks
Don’t worry. There’s more. But I’ll keep it there for now. How about you? You like having multiple projects at once?