When I finished the final edits on the second Highway to Hell installment, I found myself at a crossroad.
I had so many different projects planned out in my head, I was not sure which to do first. This got me thinking. Is it possible to work on multiple projects at the same time?
Until now, I have always had a very straightforward approach to my writing. I knew it wasn’t perfect, and needed to be tweaked in order for me to be the most productive, so this just felt like the right moment to go about it.
My system was simple, I would wake up, and I would write at any available moment. Once I was finished writing, I would edit. That was pretty much it. I didn’t edit as I wrote, I simply split the task right down the middle. It worked, don’t get me wrong, but it just wasn’t as productive as I know it could have been.
I have decided to take not only a more structured approach to my writing, but to my day in general.
I have split my writing time into three sessions. Morning, Lunch and Evening.
The early mornings, before I leave for work, are now dedicated to the new novel. I am actually planning this novel chapter by chapter, and feel it is already benefiting from being planned out in advance. I also plan to edit chapter by chapter too, which will also fall into this, first portion of my day.
During my lunch break at work – a whopping thirty minutes – I will edit my completed short story collection. I am in no rush to get this done, and the lunch break offers the perfect opportunity.
My evening shift will then be taken up by either some freelance work (if I can find it – subject of a post later this week) or my new novel again.
I don’t why, but I seem to feel much more productive doing this. Whether it is just the thought that I am working on more than one project, or because I am keeping my brain fresh and on its toes, I don’t know. All I do know is that it seems to be working, for me.
What about you? Can you, or do you, work on more than one project at a time? If so how do you divide your time?
I don’t think I could write two separate projects at once, but writing one and editing another is a different story. In theory the two compliment each other, and keep the subconscious ticking over and aware of what is going on.
The other bonus that I have discovered is that not only do I get a better burst of writing done in one particular sitting, but I am no longer so hard on myself. I have my 750 a day target, and this morning, because my daughter was awake and wanted to play, I only got 500 words done. Normally this would have driven me to write more and more over the rest of the day, but because that was my allotted time for the new WIP, I didn’t feel as guilty for missing out. I came close and tomorrow will try harder to make up some words but that is it.
It actually got me thinking about a post a good friend of mine wrote a while back. The immensely talented LauraLynn Elliott wrote about how she set herself time limits instead of word limits and how it changed her whole writing outlook. It is a short post, but thought-provoking and well worth a read.