Fiction Writing

Multi-tasking

I’ve had a policy on reading for a good chunk of my life: don’t start a book until you’ve finished the last one. For reading, this makes a lot of sense, as it is very much a single-minded activity, and it’s easy to wander off. And for other projects, too, committing to finish what you have in front of you already is a good way to ensure more projects actually get finished.

That said, I’m not entirely sure if it’s the right way to go about writing. I have multiple ideas, namely two that I feel are well baked enough to actually write. And with those, I’m not entirely sure of the best way to keep my momentum up. Do I switch off as the mood strikes me, or do I buckle down and focus on one at the expense of the other?

Part of the confusion is that nothing I’m doing right now vis a vis writing resembles “buckling down” in any practical way. I’m making gentle progress on reorganizing my ideas for a rewrite of my novel, but I haven’t put down any solid word count. At the same time, this new idea has loads of interesting concepts I want to write about, but I’m not entirely sure what the plot is, though I keep on getting ideas.

So realistically, I don’t know if trying to focus on two projects will diminish the output or quality of either. I think starting next week I’m going to try to include goals for both, and see which one garners the most of my attention. Hopefully more options will increase, not diminish, my momentum. And if one of the two really catches, I can come back to the other one later.

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