Monday, October 10, 2011

Juggling Novels

From the title you might think I'm talking about throwing books in the air and catching them.  Sorry, I'm not.  I'm talking about having lots of writing tasks to do at once.

I used to think having multiple projects all at once wasn't a bad thing because it kept me busy.  And I've never had a problem with rotating among my projects.  But more recently, say the last few weeks, I changed my mind.  I begin to see that if I'm editing Book 1, work on Book 2 suffers.  So I really need to focus and work on only one thing at a time.

The problem I have is Book 1 has a higher priority for me than Book 2 and Book 2 has a higher priority than Book 3.  I have interrupted work on Book 2 to revise Book 1.  I think what I need to do is complete the work in progress and let new work wait.  So if I'm revising Book 2 and I realize I need to edit Book 1, those editing tasks will have to wait until Book 2 revisions are complete.

I don't know if I can do that or if it will work but it sounds good in theory.  Frankly I can see all kinds of extenuating circumstances that could throw a wrench into these plans.  For example, let's say while writing Book 3, I receive a review of Book 2 with specific comments to improve it.  Does it wait or do I jump ahead and make these changes?  Or here's an even better one, while doing some writing task, I receive comments from my publisher on Book 1.  Let's say she wants more changes than the ones I made earlier this year.  I think in that case, I drop everything and do as requested because that way lies the path to publication.

And that's the real point I think.  When I'm working without deadlines I can do as I see fit, but when something from the outside world intrudes it needs attention I think.

I suppose I'm just trying to organize chaos; I suppose I would have my luck throwing book into the air.  Nah, I'm all thumbs.

No comments: