Why You Should Learn to Juggle Multiple Projects (Novel Writing)

I know it can sound horrible, especially at the beginning of your writing journey. Write multiple books? you’re thinking. I’m trying to get the first one out!

Even if you’re still relatively new to the writing life, it’s not too soon to think about multiple projects. Here’s why:

  1. Sometimes, you just need to let an idea gel. It’s not all the way there. If you find yourself really struggling with one project, there’s absolutely no shame in putting it aside for a time to work on something else. Readers will know if you’re forcing a plot to come together. *BUT: If you’re a new writer, you do run the risk of constantly getting to the middle and chucking that project to start something new, never finishing anything. I’ll post a few tips for getting unstuck soon.
  2. Often, I find my brain needs to take a breather from doing the same kind of writing activity. (Usually, when I’m in the midst of endless amounts of copyediting.) Cutting a working day short a couple of hours (or even taking a day a week) in order to do a few drafting sprints energizes me, lets me come back to copyediting refreshed and more alert and able to catch tiny mistakes.
  3. There’s a ton of downtime in any writing project. When working with a traditional publisher, months can elapse between editorial letters. Even when indie publishing, you’ll find yourself waiting on print proofs or waiting to hear from the editor you’ve hired. In the midst of proofing the re-release of my first MG, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, I found that the margins were pretty tight. So I got back into the InDesign file and widened them. Redid the cover. Uploaded the files and ordered another proof. As I wait for it to be delivered, I’ll be drafting a new humor piece.

Once I got in the habit of juggling multiple projects, I also found myself more easily transitioning between different writing tasks (drafting, editing, marketing, etc.) And it mixes the days up, keeps the writing life feeling new and exciting.

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