Back in my pantsing days, it was not at all uncommon for me to jump from one project to another, following the trail of the elusive muse and working on whatever project I was jazzed about. This led to a lot of good beginnings and not a single finished manuscript. As I made my transition from pantser to plotter, from amateur to professional (and I do not think pantser is synonymous with amateur, it just was for me personally), I gravitated away from that habit and made myself buckle down on a single project, angst and missing muse be damned. THAT led to finished manuscripts. So it’s a policy I’ve stuck to over the last several years. Whenever a Sexy Next Book sat up and said “OOO, pay attention to ME!”, I’d open a blueprint, jot down all the important information, and go back to the active project.
So it’s actually with a bit of surprise that I find myself with two active projects: my YA paranormal DOTH and a Mirus novella Longest Night. When LN popped up, I actually set DOTH aside to start it because it’s been AGES since my Mirus characters have deigned to speak to me, and it seemed wise to go with it. I got it plotted out, even started it before I left for vacay. Then last night I sat down to pick up the next scene. Nothing. Nada. Not a word. The two phone calls I got during my writing time didn’t help with that.
So I opened DOTH back up, read the previous scene. And ripped out 661 words in my last 20 minutes of my writing block. This morning I spewed out another 782. Apparently in the downtime, my brain worked out some kinks in DOTH I wasn’t even aware I had. No doubt that’ll slow down again, then I can switch back over to LN and work on it. For the first time in my life, it seems that having multiple projects might actually be a good thing. Except instead of actively trying to work on both each week, I’m just gonna go as long as I can with whatever is clicking before switching over to the other one when I get hung up. This will also hopefully help me in my quest this year of increasing my total number of writing days. A LOT of time has been wasted in the past, staring at the screen on a scene that wasn’t working. So we’ll see.
What about you? Do you juggle projects? Keeping one on the backburner for the slow times? Or do you abso-positively have to stick to one thing at a time?