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How many things do you do at once? (1 Viewer)

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Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
Do you take on a project and then work on it until you abandon it or finish it? Will you put it aside if something else comes up, to be picked up again later, or perhaps work on them in parallel? I suppose it would be possible to have a whole folder of unfinished projects that you pull out for an hour every time you sit down before moving on to the work of the moment. So how do you do it?
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Until recently, I was all about the one project, but recently it's dawned on me that that could be to my / my writing's detriment, so I have started another. There's always space for small jobs in between though - the flashes, the competitions.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
I only have one longish project at a time on the go, but I do take breaks to write much shorter pieces - often poems.
 

Darren White

co-owner and admin
Staff member
Co-Owner
I have one long-term project I'm working on. Also started a second project, plus I have millions small ones running. Poems. Often those get merged into larger projects. I maintain a system to keep track of them all.
 

TWErvin2

Senior Member
I generally work on one project at a time.

I will set aside one project to finish up another project, such as when edits come back from my publisher. I will set aside the current work and spend the time on the edited piece.
But, as far as writing a new project, I only work on writing one novel at a time. My mind doesn't switch back and forth between worlds and characters efficiently enough to make that sort of multitask writing efficient or effective.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
When I was stuck on my first novel, I started two others. They were good for about three chapters each before I lost momentum on them, too.

Once I learned what stopped me on the first novel, and finished it, I made a stride forward on simply learning to finish, but I needed one more lesson. Instead of returning to either of the "three chapter projects", I wrote three chapters of a sequel to the first novel. Then life interrupted. I had to get my house ready to sell, and then get it sold. The process
involved two years of hell. However, once I took some time to recover physically and emotionally from that ordeal, I was ready to write again.

I put out three novels, in three months, that were compilations of earlier work with about 25K words added to each to polish them off, then returned to the sequel. I wrote 18 more chapters in a matter of several weeks. I finished my next novel in three weeks ... plus three weeks of editing. But the editing is a slam dunk. The challenge is finishing the first draft. Once that happens, I'm all in on the edits until the polished product is ready.

Now, somewhere in all of that, I wrote treatments for four other novels. I'm committed in my head to writing two of them, because the story ideas are cool and really different. But I won't be starting anything new until these last unfinished manuscripts are put to bed.

It's a long answer to the question. I had three WIPs ... sitting idle. I'm cleaning that up, and then it will be one at a time, because I now realize that, for me, a second project isn't another outlet, it's a distraction. If I'm stuck on one story, I don't make progress on that story by ignoring it to write something different.

That's me and people like me. Isaac Asimov had multiple WIPs. He worked full time on one or another every day, and his "words per day" was prolific, so it was never very long before one of them was complete. Compared to Asimov, my production is 6 1/2 compared to hundreds, and I'll never get to hundreds. But I don't think his work habit matches what I'll ever need to do.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I have many projects going at one time. Any time. All the time.

I have tons of poetry I'm not yet pleased with so when I'm tired of one project I pull out the poetry.

I have several stories that are also unfinished and when I'm bored with or tired of one project, I'll work on a story for a while.

I also have two novels I work on, on and off.

I also pull out unfinished or unpolished essays to work on.

I always have something to do that's writing related.

When I'm not doing the above, I rough draft new poems, rough draft new stories or essays. I find I get frustrated with working on something for a long time. I find it so relieving to be able to turn to something else for a while. (Some of my poems I've been playing with and polishing for over twenty years.)

Deadlines are what are most helpful in getting me to work until something's finished.
 
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Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
I have many projects going at one time. Any time. All the time.

I have tons of poetry I'm not yet pleased with so when I'm tired of one project I pull out the poetry.

I have several stories that are also unfinished and when I'm bored with or tired of one project, I'll work on a story for a while.

I also have two novels I work on, on and off.

I also pull out unfinished or unpolished essays to work on.

I always having something to do that's writing related.

When I'm not doing the above, I rough draft new poems, rough draft new stories or essays. I find I get frustrated with working on something for a long time. I find it so relieving to be able to turn to something else for a while. (Some of my poems I've been playing with and polishing for over twenty years.)

Deadlines are what are most helpful in getting me to work until something's finished.

This is more like me. Even now that I have set up a YouTube channel and am recording some of my stories I already have plans for other channels. I have a twenty odd chapter story that I could read in chapters, Looking through my stuff I realise there are enough things I have written on aspects of gardening to start a channel, and ditto with things I have written about writing. That one will be 'A Mentor's Memoirs', I do like a bit of alliteration.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I can only write one project at a time. Occasionally an idea for another tale will show up in my brain, when that happens I jot it down in a notebook and leave it there until my book is done (or at least nearly so).

Currently, my WIP is waiting on my cover designer, and it's possible that I may do one more read through before it goes live on Amazon. In the mean time though I'm working on the plot of my next novel - which is consuming my attention.
 

Fiender

Senior Member
I think it depends how you define "project" haha.

I have multiple unfinished manuscripts that I'm alternating between, but I don't do so randomly. Like, I recently did an early NaNo, and while I was writing that I did not look at any of my other books. Right now, I'm revising a different manuscript based on beta reader feedback, and I will not start working on anything else until I am finished with those revisions. I will likely shift my attention back to a different manuscript while I look for additional beta readers (unless those betas end up being swaps).

The wheel of productivity keeps on turning.
 
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