One Project at a Time?

I have always struggled with balancing my writing projects. More often than not, I find myself devoting all of my time and writing energy to one specific project--meaning that when I run out of juice for that project, I'm left feeling unmotivated and lazy.
I used to think that trying to balance more than one project would just make this issue worse. But (like a lot of the time) I was wrong!

As most of you know, this past year I put my WIP of five years, Unperfected, on hold and made my main writing project my YA contemporary fantasy titled Awaken. I did this for many reasons, but mainly because I have grown a lot as a writer in these last five years, and it shows. Awaken has been far easier to write than my first book ever was (which might also have something to do with the fact that I've been writing in the wrong genre for years, which I talked about in this last post.)
Not only did I discover that writing in a new genre is really good for me, but this year I've also learned that writing multiple projects at once is really good for me. Who knew!
I "finished" Awaken back in March (I say "finished" because it's under word count and needs editing so obviously no finished at all) and I let it sit for a while. Around that time is when my personal life and job changed up completely, leaving me a little unmotivated and restless. I switched over to poetry, and as one thing led to another I ended up making my debut as a poet in October (YAY BUY MY BOOK)
Towards the end of October and beginning of November, I decided to go back to fiction writing and take a break from poetry. Which sounded easy enough, right?
Wrong. See, over the course of the four months I spent working on my poetry, I came up with a new spooky paranormal-y book idea that involves triplet sisters and ghosts and mental health and inner demons and I just got so dang excited I decided to let myself start writing it.
And something awesome happened.
I didn't die!

I always thought that trying to balance too many projects at once would send me into a deep and dark stress-induced writing rut where I would then be stuck for months and months. But instead, I have found working on multiple projects to be extremely freeing!
Because now instead of only having one project, I have another that I can work on if I'm stuck or frustrated with the other. Rather than feeling unmotivated with one project and just sitting there not writing, I have another project I can turn to and work on.
Currently I am working on three projects: Awaken, my untitled paranormal, and the next book in my poetry series. Sometimes I work on all three in one day. Sometimes I work on one a week. Sometimes I work on none a day. But slowly I am making progress with each, and it feels good to have three different areas to write in rather than forcing myself to handle writing one project at a time.

It can be easy to get stuck in the motions when writing--sometimes to the point that we don't even know why we do things the way that we do. I've always focused on one story at a time simply because that's just how it's always been for me. But the moment I realized that and allowed myself the freedom to work on multiple projects at once, I discovered a way to tackle writing from a different angle. And that's really helpful!

What about you? Do you write more than one project at once, or do you try to keep it strictly one project at a time?


Comments