Multiple Writing Projects


What does a writer do with all of the voices in their head, or is this just me? I try to listen to both the voices and my heart.

Yesterday I was on a roll with my new WIP, having completed the first couple of chapters, when I had an epiphany of sorts with another WIP. So I was up until 4am writing on that WIP. I had to get it all down while it was fresh in my mind. I could hardly wait.

Today I reread both works and I am pleased.

They are two entirely different works, two entirely different genres, two entirely different writing styles.

I went online today and joined a local writer’s group that meets tomorrow. I am still struggling with POV and person with both of these works despite my successes with them. I need some practice that is separate from the WIP. It is not a lack of confidence, it is more a desire to develop and grow as a writer.

I believe that I write best in third person, but that is not going to allow me to develop the depth of character that I would like in my current WIP, unless I gain more skill. So, I am wondering if I should go with first person…but then, with the two sisters I really need two POVs. That is going to take some practice. I feel like I am up to the challenge…but it is going to take time to mold this work properly.

With the crime novel, writing has been in spurts.  I write a bit and get hung up and have to put it down and leave it alone for a while and go back to it at a later date. I get moments of clarity when the writing flows naturally and seems to fly like a bird on the wing, and then it stalls and crashes.  Sometimes I love it and sometimes I think it stinks. It is still early, and the depth I needed for some characters is starting to come through. I have a love hate relationship with it.

I have no clue which one of these works will pan out and blossom into something worthy of publication, or even if that will happen with either. I do know that, despite my trials and tribulations, I am having fun with both.

There is also a third WIP that I write on when the mood strikes. It could actually be a sequel to the book on the two sisters, being a sort of autobiographical.

Now I have some thoughts on yet another story.  My husband thinks I am getting a bit psycho and wants me to “focus” on one project at a time. He fears that I am going to become dissatisfied with my progress on all of them if I don’t focus on one and take it from beginning to end.  I don’t know if I can do that!  And this, coming from a man that has five or more big projects going on at any one time, from boats, to building, to cars.

Do you work on one project at a time?

43 thoughts on “Multiple Writing Projects

    1. I don’t want to stretch myself too thin, or feel like I have to stay up till 4am…certainly not regularly. I am getting much encouragement to write a sequel to R C & R. The book on the two sisters will be along that line…in the same vein. So I may have to focus to get this accomplished where I feel that I can then move on to something different. I don’t want the two different styles to converge…and they are dramatically different. I think when I go back to the crime novel, seriously, I am going to join Sisters in Crime, and dedicate myself to another platform, and I am not ready for that just yet.

  1. I wish I had the willpower to focus. But if you have 2 really good ideas it must be hard to separate them, I’m sure you’ll ace both of them in the end :). I’m still only half way through my 1st attempt and getting frustrated with my progress. I think that’s why I keep writing the poetry, it gives me a quick high that somethings finished, while I keep festering over the book!! Sending positive vibes x

    1. Thanks Helen, for the vote of confidence. I am glad to know that you have a book going. I love your poetry, and I understand the quick fix thing. I think all writers have their moments of frustration, when things just don’t quite come together, for whatever reason. Thanks also for the positive vibes. I have missed you. Do you know about Ionia and Jules new site?

  2. I need to explore writing while it’s hot. It doesn’t turn out the same to jot down some notes and start a project way down the line, as when I can set aside some time and get the project underway.

    Having fun with it makes it worthwhile no matter what. 🙂

    1. I had to go into my files and do some organizing today. I don’t want to get too scattered. I will most likely continue to write up some “epiphanies”, but I do need to dedicate my commitments in one direction or another.

      Most of all, yes, it’s still fun!

  3. I admire those of you who can work on more than one project at a time. Once I start something, I’m laser-eyed focused on that project alone. I’m just starting a new WIP, and it’s all I can think about. So much swirling around in my brain. 🙂

    1. And I admire those of you who have that strong sense of focus. Seriously, I feel like it is a better thing to be atomic bombed by a work than to receive shots from a revolver.

      My husband knows that I am likely to really get frustrated in six months if I can’t say, “Voila!”

      It is like when we needed a back porch rebuilt and he wanted to take down the old one piece by piece over time. I halted him on that because it unnerves me to see something drag on like that. We waited until we could afford it, hired the job out instead, and had the old porch deconstructed, hauled away, and the new one installed in three days. I was much happier.

  4. I prioritize. I choose one project as the main one and give it the bulk of my time until I’m done or it needs a break. The other projects get the weekend, evenings, and any times that I want to give the main one a rest. Of course, I have a lot of time to play with. Would you say the voices of your characters come from the heart as well as the mind?

    1. I am home all day now, as I am not contracting out this winter. So I probably have too much time on my hands, and haven’t yet gotten into a good schedule. I like the idea of prioritizing, giving one project the bulk of my attention, and still dabbling with the others simply because I do tend to get bored with one. The stories aren’t boring stories…but the writing on one for long periods does get tedious at times.

      Most definite from the heart with the newest work, but the crime novel, not so much.

        1. It is not too much time, but rather not an effective use of the time that I have. Hence being up at 4am writing. Setting up a writing schedule that prioritizes would be useful. I have my daily list of five things to accomplish each day…sometimes it takes me all day to accomplish one.

    1. How are You doing?

      I used to spend more time trying to develop creative posts and working for followers. I have gotten a bit lazy lately, with respect to the blog. I was getting like 400 emails a day..of course nobody can read that many, (but my OCD made me try) so I cut it back to 100, then about 50, then 20. Now I try to get to my reader at least twice daily to keep up with what is going on, but I had to seriously get myself more disciplined. Still working at it.

      1. I finally had to stop all comments and post on others blogs. One night this phone blinged all night. This daily post is draining me. I’m using Adobe Story at 10 a month so I can work on them anywhere and it’s in the cloud.

  5. Working on one thing at a time would be the same as watching the same movie over and over, day in day out. Or worse, watching ten minutes of the movie at any time, and not watching any other movies in between. Unnatural, I say. Unnatural!

  6. I have a modest goal to post on my blog twice weekly, so I can pursue my “plaintofancy” memoir. But what with the social media, and checking on my blog friends, it’s hard to strike a happy medium. Also, there’s the pull (and the wish) to keep reading, especially writers like Anne Lamott and Diane Ackerman recently.

    Here’s my thought for your evocative photo: Mary Poppins gone Berserky.

  7. I become too scattered when I work on more than one project at a time. I get nothing done if I don’t complete one and go to the next. Something to do with my brain. I’m in awe you are multi-tasking three. Whew. 😀

  8. I think everyone is different, and you have to do what works for you. I agree with the idea of prioritizing–or picking particular days to work on particular projects. I haven’t written much fiction, but I imagine that even if you choose to focus on one project, it’s difficult to completely “turn off” your brain for the others, and that you would have to at least write down ideas for projects you choose not to focus on. Of course, I’m probably not the person to listen to, since I’m working on multiple projects right now–and feeling a bit overwhelmed.I can’t work late at night, my brain just doesn’t function then. Back to work now for me! 🙂

  9. I have several projects in my head including a couple of new one some are fantasy, others memoir and fiction. I tend to work on whichever one is keeping me awake. It varies. However, I am striving to focus more on the one.

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