One at Time...


Well-known member
Mar 1, 2019
I get the impression that a lot of writers work on multiple projects at the same time, jumping from one to another as inspiration leads. My first attempt to do this has resulted in dismal failure...

Apparently, at least when it comes to writing, I have a one-track mind. Anybody else?


Well-known member
May 19, 2021
I wish! I have way too many things all going on at once...But I do tend to focus on one or two at a time- For a little while, anyway. I've also noticed that doing two different ones in one day is not necessarily a great idea...One character's voice started to sound like a completely different character's voice... 😬

Claire Tucker

Copyeditor and Proofreader
Jan 26, 2018
I have one "main project" that I work on (either drafting or revising), but will also have a small project that is my "playground." It doesn't really matter what happens with the playground project, it's just there for me to mess around with (I usually add a short scene a week), but what it does is give me a chance to just mess around and have fun while continuing the (sometimes grueling) work of turning out a good novel. And somewhere between those, I'll toy with brainstorming for future projects.


Well-known member
Aug 10, 2013
I have three WIPs, but one is definitely in the background. I alternate between the other two, each time wishing I could concentrate on just one.

Wes B

Mostly Harmless
Jul 28, 2019
Apparently, at least when it comes to writing, I have a one-track mind. Anybody else?
There are painfully few skills in life that I just started out doing well, without making any effort to practice. OTOH, there's a satisfying list of things that I've learned to do well (errr... well enough?) While there are likely things I've no aptitude for at all (I suspect that brussels sprouts will always be repulsive, no matter what I do...) I've been able to develop a various and fun array of skills, if I found them worth making the effort.

It will be very personal, finding what things are worth the effort.

As a kid, I learned to juggle three balls: mostly because I had three of the same kind of ball, and then because it looked kinda fun. I've seen people juggle five, seven, thirteen, while tossing them back and forth with a partner. One of my daughters can juggle things involving fire. It's all fun to see, but I'll leave those skills to someone else.

We get to decide what's worth our time to learn, but don't presume you can't do it, just 'cuz you can't do it from day one. I'm guessin' you are a lot more versatile than that... 😃

P.M. Turner

Struggling writer hoping to make dreams come true
Dec 27, 2020
I never really purposely limited myself to one WIP at a time, but lately my book is the only thing I'm seriously working on, except for some poetry here and there.

Working on my novel seems to be the only writing endeavor I have in me lately, and that just barely. But I'm getting there. I just hope it's worth the journey.


Senior Member
May 19, 2005
I work on one at a time. However, I do alternate. If I get stuck on one or get a burst of ideas for another, I will put down my current WIP and pick up another. Keeping extensive research notes and plot outlines is essential. Without that I could not switch because I would forget too much.

However, I don’t always know where my writing will lead me. I had a file of research on Christian history, a Bible study course I was developing on how to pursue a spiritual harvest based on ideas from Matthew, and was working on a book on peace rooted in Ecclesiastes. By the time I was done, all three merged into one book. I didn’t know it, but my mind was approaching the same problem from three angles.

The beauty of keeping a good outline and clipping file for each topic is that I can add to it at any time. Creativity is not linear. When I needed a monthlong break from my last book on Peace, I researched and wrote an outline for a book on Habakkuk. Six months later, I took another break to study all of Matthew. I had no idea that it would contribute two more chapters to my book on Peace and point me towards the most important revelations to flow from my research.


Well-known member
May 28, 2019
Depends. If I am drafting a new piece of work I.e a short story ot novel, then I focus on that 100% until the 1st or 2nd draft I'd done

Otherwise I can have 2 or 3.projects at various stages that I alternate between.

At present, while I wait for feedback on one project I have just read through an editor's feedback on another MS.