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Just wondering how many of you have concurrent projects that you're working on and what percentage of your writing time that you commit to each?

 

I have a couple of projects that I dabble with outside of my main project (historical fantasy novel), but they only ever get time committed to them when I need a brain pallet-cleanser. 

 

I'm thinking that I'll have more time to work on them when I finish my current project, but I also have plans for a sequel already in the works, so.... just feeling a little guilty about neglected characters and stories. Lol.

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I usually work on three or four projects with the split 60/20/10/10  of my time, but if it starts going well for two of them, I break it down 60/40.  It works pretty well for me.  How about you?

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In my formative writing years, I heard that you should NEVER work on more than one project at once. However, I could never do that and always felt like I was doing something "wrong." However, I've learned that "one size doesn't fit all" in writing. It may be true for some people, but I hear of many working on multiple projects at once. 

 

It's hard to say how I split the time though. I think it changes constantly.

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Just now, suspensewriter said:

How about you?

It generally seems like I'm somewhere around 95/ 5 right now, with the 5% encompassing all of my current side projects. I need to find some balance.

 

Well, I need to finish my main project and then find some balance moving forward.

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Well, I probably will. That sounds like a good balance. I'm just pushing so hard to get my main done, trying to use the downtime of the quarantine to be fruitful.

 

But what I don't want is to be so preoccupied trying to be faithful to telling this one story that God has given me that I neglect to be faithful to the others that I haven't spent much time developing.

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Just now, suspensewriter said:

I'm curious- did God lay it on your heart to develop the other stories, too?

God most definitely laid the inspiration for all my projects on my heart. My main project, however, a historical fantasy with satirical salvation/ redemption woven throughout, and a completed project, a children's book based on the parables of Jesus, are where I have felt directed to put most of my attention.

 

When I'm done with my main, I'm going to sit down and see where God wants to lead next.

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An agent who rejected one of my books gave me some good advice: don’t get stuck on one book. Be working on more than one so that when you get stuck on the first you have a second to fall back on. Great advice!

 

I can’t work on more than one book at a time. It’s a personality thing. But I have put down a project for one, two, even three years to work on another, then went back to the first. One such novel turned out much better because I did that.

 

I was writing a YA fantasy about Trolls a few years ago. Then the Lord put it on my heart to write a nonfiction book on resilience based on Job. I finished that, then went back to the troll book for a few months, making good progress. Then the Coronavirus hit and I sensed that writing a lighthearted fantasy was not what my soul or potential audience needed. So now I am writing a book on how to find peace, based on Ecclesiastes. In three months I have written 210 pages while working full time. It was the right decision.

 

It would not be possible to switch back and forth without good notes. I use Index Card, an iPad app, to store research, Chapter outlines, character info, bibliography references, and random thoughts.

 

My current book is growing out of personal Bible study notes from over five years ago, plus ideas that came while I was writing a sermon to summarize the ideas of my last book. (Like Father Mackenzie in Eleanor Rigby, it is a “sermon that no one will hear”.) It is theses in between attempts to start other projects that morph into something unexpectedly fruitful. 

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Have to say I am a one at a time person.

 

That might change as I have achieved my goal to get the 1st main draft of bk3 done during lockdown.

 

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Lady year, I kept myself focused on one project at a time. Right now, I'm playing with three - brainstorming a fantasy novel, preparing to edit another fantasy novel and first-drafting a short story. In all honesty, I'm enjoying this more, although I don't think that I would be able to write multiple projects at the same time. But having multiple stories at different stages is fun. 

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At the moment I'm working on three. Each serves a different purpose:

 

1. The most important one is my main WIP for publication. This is part of my "business" and my body of work as a career author. It has a key role to play in marketing and income generation.

 

2. The second piece I'm working on is as part of a craft course. I'm working on a specific aspect of my craft, and this small piece is a training exercise to help me learn this particular thing. I will probably not publish it.

 

3. The third piece I'm doing is for pure fun and as a creative outlet. I write it just for the joy of writing, and I go at it with complete freedom, not worrying about how bad it is or what people might think of me if they see it. I picked an interesting writing prompt and write 500 words every day, unplanned and uncritical. I just open up the document and let it rip until I've done my daily quota. Nobody will ever see this one.

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I just sent the final draft of my book to my editor/proof reader. Now I have to design the cover and get ready to market it. I only write on one project at a  time, but other/possible future projects always pop into my mind, so I write them down in a notebook.

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I have 3 books in the works.  A finished manuscript that I am doing edits on.  The follow-up book, and a stand-alone book.  And I work on them when I have a drive or need to do them.  I should normally dedicate my time to a finished manuscript, but I found a beta reader to look it over.  I want their feedback on specific things before I go in and make changes.  So that is on hold.

 

The other two I set my focus based on priority.  The follow-up has a higher priority than the stand-alone book.  However, I will spend a day on the stand-alone if I have strong ideas that I want to put down on paper.

 

I don't statically allocate time on multiple projects.  I find that priorities tend to change over time, so I go by that.

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