I used to be strictly only work on one project at a time and that didn’t work for me. Working on multiple projects at once has helped my writing process so much. It’s what helped me fall in love with writing again after what happened in late 2018.
I recognize that working on multiple projects definitely doesn’t work for some writers. Some people don’t like it-but as I will always say it is always worth a try. You’ll never know till you try it.
What’s worked for me may not work for you, but all the advice I give has worked for me.
Why to Write Multiple Projects at Once
Fights off Boredom
How else do I describe it without sounding like a child? Working on one project and being laser focused is so boring. The same story, the same plot, the same characters.
I get bored then I wander from my project. Because of my former rule of only working on project at a time, I would switch and switch and never finish one.
Once I get bored of one project, I can switch projects for a day or two to give myself a breath of fresh air. I can recover, then come back to my big project with an open mind.
Keeps up Momentum
When I worked on my long fantasy novel for four months straight, I felt like I was wading through mud. Oftentimes I’d wonder if it was even worth it to finish because it took so long. There was no end in sight. I finished that novel but going through that was arduous.
Now, I am working on the third draft of that same novel. I’m also working on a short story and poetry. Let me tell you, I feel like I’m actually accomplishing stuff.
When I feel like my novel is taking forever, I can finish a short story. Being able to say yeah I finished a short story instead of saying I’m 70k words to go on my novel has helped me keep my morale up.
When I was working only on my fantasy novel, I had some real tunnel vision. I refused to even consider writing short stories and now they’re some of my favorite style of writing.
Becoming comfortable with dabbling in projects has allowed me the freedom to not care. This has more so to do with the elitism of writing processes in the writing community, but I feel so much better now that I’ve let that go.
I’m having fun I can actually take my own advice. As a teen writer, I deserve not give a worry about publishing or my dream career. I have the privilege of being able to try different forms of creative writing and I’m going to savor it before this turns into a job.
More Commonalities with Potential Friends
I gained more knowledge and that means I have more interests I can talk to people about. I can hit up Chloé Lianna about my fantasy novel. I can hit up Hannah Lee Kidder and Shaelin Bishop about short stories. If I have a question about poetry, I know Sophia Elaine Hanson would be more than willing to give advice.
With more information I eat, the more I can share. There’s a better chance that when I meet a new writer that we could write the same genre. I love talking about writing to people and if we happen to write in the same genre or share the same interests, all the better.
How to Write Multiple Projects at Once
This is something to get used to at first. When I first started writing multiple projects, I was shook at how slow my novel was coming along. Albeit, it’s not the only reason I slowed my drafting. But I used to be able to draft a 100k novel in four months.
It’s expected to be slower. And that’s okay because it’s a learning process. Try it out for a month. If you hate it, drop it.
Awareness of Time
This is crucial if you have a deadline. In my case, I don’t have a contract, but I do have self-imposed deadlines. Albeit they have been very loose since I’ve been prioritizing school over writing. I’ve learned strict goals aren’t for me.
However, I do need to be aware of time and just how long it is taking me for completing a project. If it is taking me a long time to finish a short story, *cough* The Trial of a Goldfish Killer *cough* I can put more time to that project if I really wanted to finish it quicker.
I cannot plan my day out by the hour to save my life. I find that strict of a routine constrictive. Some writers choose to write on one project in the morning and then the other in the evening. For me, I just work when I feel like it with a stretch.
I write everyday mostly because it’s so fun. But I never schedule down time to write on a calendar. I know I usually write in the afternoon from 13:00-15:00.
If I scheduled out two hours on a calendar, I would be so bleh when it came to that time. Writing would turn into work rather than fun. If I don’t want to work in the afternoon, I know I will work in the evening.
Because I trust my body and brain to write everyday. I just have to or I feel off. I’ve built up that trust in myself to be flexible and go with the flow.
Work on Different Types
I’ve never worked on projects that were simlar just because gut feeling. I read multiple books and ensure they are from diffrent genres. It made sense to do the same with my writing.
The Trial of a Goldfish Killer is a short story. My fantasy novel is a novel. My poetry is mostly just for myself being an angsty teen. These are all genres and types of work that I love but are different from one another in some way.
Each of these works take place in completely different time periods. I can’t imagine writing two novels, one of them being 1800’s London and 1800’s Dublin. Too closely connected in location and time. I would be very confused.
Be at Different Stages
This is another way how I’ve kept myself from confusing projects from one another. By different stages, I mean as in first draft, outline, brainstorm, developmental editing.
I’m on the third draft of my fantasy novel with huge developmental edits. It’s pretty much a whole rewrite. I’m line editing my short story. I’m brainstorming for a historical fiction, paranormal novel.
If I get tired of drafting, I can edit my short story. If I want to daydream about my work, I can brainstorm for that historical fiction novel. It’s all what makes writing multiple projects fun and practical.
Trust Your Gut
This one is great if you don’t schedule well. I work on projects when I feel like it. Some may call my writing process flawed but I’m having fun and getting stuff done. And my writing process has become a thousand times better now that I’m actually enjoying myself.
This can be taken in a variety of different directions. If you think are insecure about trying a a technique some people call inefficient, just trust your gut. Worse comes to worse, you learn some thing about yourself.
This is more so useful if you have goals and deadlines. If you have trouble prioritizing your tasks, you should try this graph I learned in a counseling class.
You make a grid of four. In the first box, you’d put urgent and important. The second is important and not urgent. The third is not important but urgent. The last is not important nor urgent. You’d get a better sight at what exactly you need to do first and foremost.
I’ve used this in school a lot. 10/10 would recommend. It’s just so much better if you can see everything you need to do from level of importance and energy.
Keep Moving Forward
🎵Keep Moving Forward🎵 from Meet the Robinsons
I’m not saying you should move your goals forward an equal amount everyday. That is a ridiculous expectation. The only way I can compare it to how Anna Akana said to push your goals.
Each goal is a a jar. Then each day, you push forward a jar. Sometimes, you will push one goal super far. Sometimes, you won’t touch one goal in quite some time but you’ve pushed other goals. That’s okay. Life is fluid. So long you 🎵Keep Moving Forward🎵