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Writing mulitple projects at the same time : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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Brien Sz
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Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Brien Sz » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:04 pm

For the sake of conversation I thought I would share a recent development. For some time I have practiced the habit of writing one project at a time ( in terms of my own ambition for writing novels). Yes, other ideas might come to mind and I would jot down notes but I would never concentrate on trying to divide my time in writing two separate projects simultaneously. However, recently I started just that. I don't really know why but both projects seemed to scream that they needed attention now. So I have endeavored to accomplish this, at least until one of the projects takes over. Rather than fight the urge to only concentrate on one project, I have detached myself from that notion and so far the results after nearly two weeks is pretty good. I find myself going from one project to another depending on feel. What has worked for me up to this point, is that when I'm stuck in a spot on one idea, I simply go to the next story and work on that. When the thought flow fades there, it is remarkable how refreshed my mind is when I go back to the other one. It seems the ideas just burst onto the page. I'm liking this and am going to ride it as long as I can. I was wondering if others have experienced this and how they have dealt with it. Thanks...

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Crono91
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Crono91 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:36 pm

I think if that works for you, then that's awesome. Being able to refresh yourself with each story is a cool thing to have.

For myself, I simply wouldn't be able to do it. :cry: I'm very much a"start A; finish A; start B; finish B," kind of guy.

I don't even read multiple books at a single time (other than one fiction and one non-fiction... I don't think that counts. : P )
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mammamaia
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby mammamaia » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:21 am

i've always had a slew of projects in the works at the same time... comes from being a mother of 7 kids, i guess, since multi-tasking is a way of life for moms of more than one... or, even just one, if there's also a husband's demands/needs to tend to...

many, if not most professional writers probably do the same...

it's actually recommended to have more than one writing project in progress, so if you're stuck on where to go next on one, you can set it aside for a bit and work on the other... then, when you go back to the 'stuck' one, you'll have a fresh perspective and most likely be able to forge ahead... as brien has learned...

crono...
it's not that hard to do... think about your school days... you were able to go from math class to social studies, then on to all the other day's classes and back to math again the next day, with no trouble, right?... so you've already been multi-tasking...
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Crono91
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Crono91 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:30 am

Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby giginevie » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:41 pm

I write multiple projects all the time. When stuck on one project I bounce to another. It clears my head then more things will come in regarding the other story I was writing about. For instance I'm writing about caring for my elderly mother. She says and does some crazy things and she is left handed. Always trying to open jars the wrong way. It's really a very light funny story. When I haven't seen her in a while I stop till my next visit and sure enough more funny things.

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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:00 pm

I sometimes have well over a dozen projects going on. Occasionally I have twenty or thirty. For me, it's a matter of having a strict schedule. Each project gets its own slot in my writing schedule, and when that slot arrives, that's what I work on.

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Brien Sz
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Brien Sz » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:11 pm

James - that is good to know. When I used to write television commercials and promo's that was the norm - however they were all of the thirty second variety and depending on the network, twenties, tens and fives to go with it. Working in the longer format, I could not process such a thing at first. I began to imagine that I could work on various projects simultaneously some time ago. I imagined doing exactly what you conveyed - breaking up projects into dedicated time slots. I am not there yet but by comfortably expanding into a multiple project mode I believe that is a task I can achieve in the near future. Ahh the beauty of mental evolution.

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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Vaterstix » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:24 pm

Great topic! In recent years, I've become more and more of a multi-story writer. I focus solely on one, devoting most of my time and effort but I get inspiration for other ideas that involves details of characters, plot, setting, culture, etc. all the time and I find that as long as I exercise these creative juices, I'm better able to work on my main story. For me, it's a benefit to work on other things whereas I think I would get frustrated and bored with one main focus.

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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Fictional Cowboy » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:17 am

I'm just not wired to work on more than one project (of any kind) at a time. I hate multitasking. I can do it if I absolutely have to but I don't like it and I would have to remain undisturbed. I'm laser-focused on what I'm doing. My idea of multitasking is breathing while doing anything else. The upside is, whatever that one thing I'm working on is, it's going to be done very, very well.

When it comes to writing, I'm far too absorbed in my current novel, and loving every second of it, to even want to work on anything else. I do get ideas and snippets, but I collect them in a specific notebook and carry on.

To all of the multiple WIP folks, you're writing beasts! James, just... wow. Wow.
~ Cowboy

If you're so inclined, feel free to correct my punctuation. I'm relearning.

DISCLAIMER: My posts are always my opinions, my thoughts and information based on my research. There are exceptions, and no one right way, to do everything.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:40 pm


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