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Friday, June 26, 2015

Juggling Multiple Projects - Could you? Should you?

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I can't believe it's the end of June already. Suddenly my writing schedule for the year is starting to feel a little cramped. It's all my own fault of course, I have so many ideas and so much trouble saying no...  Or it could just be that old adage that whatever amount of time you have, you're going to fill it up.

I'm currently working on trying to finish up a book I really should have completed last year, but it just kept being shoved off the calendar to make way for something new and shiny. #:0) I'm also starting work on another book which will go into a box set in late Summer. In addition, I have two more series books that need to be written waiting in the wings and another couple which aren't promised or scheduled, but which I'd really like to finish because they're fun projects.

Add to all that a six book series that I got the rights back on, which needs to be re-edited, revamped, and rebranded before launching again by the end of the year...and you can maybe see why I'm panting a little bit. LOL

Right now you might be asking yourself if I'm just a tiny bit crazy. The answer to that would be, yes, of course I'm crazy...I'm a writer! But seriously, I do sometimes get feeling a little overwhelmed, but the feeling generally has little to do with my writing world and more to do with juggling the real world with all my writing projects.

So why do I do this to myself, you might ask? I would jokingly tell you I have writer's ADD and can't focus on one project for any length of time. That's only partly true. #:0) I actually like being busy, and I also like being productive. In addition, I generally write totally different types of projects at the same time, so I can use one as kind of a brain freshener when I get stuck on the other.

Moving back and forth from sci fi or paranormal to mystery or suspense keeps my brain fresh and agile. The wide creative shift enables me to totally slough off the kinks in the first project and tackle the next project without any hangover from the first one. The shift from one to the other builds creative elasticity. Yes, I'll occasionally put the wrong names into a book because I'm fresh from writing another story, but this doesn't happen as often as you might think.

In the course of doing this over the years, my brain has become a well-toned athlete (except when it isn't, LOL), performing a daily high wire act that rarely finds the net far below. Sure I still get stuck once in a while and, when nearing the end of a book I find I'm unable to shift away from it, but for the most part the system works for me, both short term and over the long haul.

Should you...could you...try juggling more than one writing project at a time? Only you know the answer to that. Not everybody is wired for project shifting. But I can tell you that it has its own challenges and definite rewards. If you're willing to give it a try, you just might discover your own athletic brain along the way!

Happy writing!

Felicity Chance returns to Sinful looking for a message from her father. Following a trail of clues Felly hopes will help her find him, she enlists the invaluable…and distracting…aid of Swamp Team 3. Unfortunately their search is complicated by the usual things—Carter and new mayor Celia Arceneaux have made it their mission to keep a close eye on Swamp Team 3 plus 1. The team also finds itself running from the Russian Mafia as well as the local bad guys. Will Felly and the Swamp Team find her father before all the bad guys do? Or will she get bogged down by the swamp, and sucked into the muck of her father’s shady past?


Polly McCrillis said...

Sam, can you say Over Achiever?! You've got a crazy lot of writing going on. The first time I added another project to the one and only one I was working on I was terrified I'd lose the momentum I had going on the first one. Going from a contemporary suspense set in the 21st century in the USA to a historical set in England, 19th century, was a little nerve-wracking but I figured out how to make it work and can juggle even more than two WIPs now, AND throw in an edit project to boot. Doing all that is as close to having a "split personality" as I'll ever get!

Melissa Keir said...

I often juggle different projects. It could be because I'm a mom and we've perfected, family, ourselves. Now I juggle my business, my work, my family and my writing. It's something that keeps me busy and happy!

I love the idea for Bubba and the green on the cover really pops! All the best!!

Judy Baker said...

I can relate, the busier I am, the happier I am, the only difference is I never write more than one book at a time, never tried two projects. Maybe I should. Best of luck with Bubba.

jean hart stewart said...

I think if you/re a writer you gotta learn to juggle if you don't already know how. Surely nobody has just one project going at the time! Love your stuff, Sam...

Sam Cheever said...

Polly, it really is a learned skill, isn't it? You might have something on the split personality thing, maybe we should suggest a writing prescription to people with the disorder!

Melissa, I definitely believe it's related to being a mother. We learn very quickly that if we don't figure out how to juggle, then a LOT of stuff is going to go undone. Which brings up a fun question, we all know men aren't very good jugglers...I wonder if male authors work on multiple projects at a time? hmmm

Judy, it might not be in your DNA, but if you like to be busy... #:0)

Jean, actually, I've spoken to writers who can only work on one thing at a time. But I'm guessing there are more of "us" than there are of "them". LOL

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