Writers oftentimes have more ideas than they know what to do with. I know I do more times than not. But that’s not even the core of the issue, the issue is then deciding on a single idea to work on. It’s near impossible.
Many writers struggle with the idea of working on more than one project at once. For a while, I struggled with this as well. Wouldn’t it take my time away from the project I should be working on? Will I ever get anything done with my time split between multiple projects?
Because of these hesitations, many writers won’t even consider the idea of working on more than one project at a time. In this post, I want to show the pros and cons of this subject. That way you can decide for yourself whether this is something that would work for you, or if it’s something you shouldn’t mess with.
Just like with so many other areas of writing, there is no one right answer. Something different will work for each and every writer. While one writer can juggle multiple projects at once, another writer may struggle to think about one. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do, this is something you have to decide for yourself.
1. You can take breaks from one project to work on another.
When working on multiple projects at once, it can come in handy when you just need a break from one story world. This way, you’re still working on something while also taking a break from a story. It can be argued that sometimes, if you need a break from a story, what you really need is a break from writing entirely. Listen to your body to see if this is the case. But for me, I find a lot of times I simply need a break from a certain story world that I’ve spent a lot of time in. That’s when I often enjoy writing a short story or playing around with another idea.
2. You can accomplish more.
Again, this could be debatable. Some might say that because you’re splitting your time, you’re not actually accomplishing as much. But I think, if you do it right, you can accomplish more at a time by working on a couple projects at once. But only if that is what you’re capable of doing. Because if you try to push yourself to do this and it doesn’t go well, then you’ll be spreading yourself thin and you won’t accomplish as much as if you were comfortably writing one project at a time.
1. You can be easily distracted.
I struggle with this a lot. When I feel I’m able to, I love working on multiple projects at once, but I have a severe case of shiny keys syndrome and can sometimes forget a project altogether if I end up enjoying another idea better. A way to help this issue, I’ve found, is to work on different stages of different stories. For example, maybe you’re writing one story while brainstorming another idea. You’re in two completely different stages so your attention isn’t so divided as if you were actively writing two projects at once.
2. You sometimes won’t finish a project.
I’ve been guilty of this. (It goes along with the shiny key syndrome I was talking about.) But I feel if you are strong in discipline as a writer, then you don’t have to worry about this. If you remember why you love each story that you create and why you’re passionate about it, then nothing will keep you from finishing it. Even if you get distracted by another story for a time.
These are just a few points to go into on this topic but I hope it was helpful for you to decide what is best for you. Also, keep in mind that everyone goes through seasons. You might go through a season where you’re able to work on five projects at once with no problem, and then you might go through a season where you’re struggling to focus on one.
That has been me lately. I’ve always been one to enjoy working on at least two projects at a time (usually using the method of writing one, brainstorming another). But while I’ve been working on edits for a novel, I’ve found that if I so much as think about another story then it easily distracts me. And I can’t be distracted from getting these edits done. So right now I’m going through a season of only working on edits (boring, I know. Send help).
No one can decide for you what you’re capable of doing. Think through the pros and cons and you might surprise yourself. Maybe you’re capable of more than you might think. Or maybe you’re someone who prefers putting their whole heart and passion into one story at a time before moving on to another. Either way is acceptable and beautiful in its own way.
The choice is yours.
Do you work on more than one writing project at a time? Did these pros and cons help you make a decision? Which do you prefer?
4 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Working on Multiple Writing Projects”
I always used to be the one project type of person (except on rare occasions), and now I’m all over the place. I definitely don’t get as much done (and finishing things comes more slowly), but I’m also in a different season of life than I was a few years ago. 🙂
But yay for editing! Cheering you on with all the motivational chocolates. 🙂 I know the feeling of slogging through something you’ve read many times …
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That’s funny! I used to be all over the place and had to restrain myself to only one project at a time. XD Then I got to a place where I could write more than one at a time without ditching the other project, but I still prefer working on only one at a time. Sometimes I’ll do what I mentioned, writing one while brainstorming another. That’s fun!
Yay for making progress! You don’t have to finish projects quickly, as long as you’re making progress. 😜💙
Thanks!! I can use all the motivational chocolate! XD Yeah, it can be tough. But I finally feel like I’m hitting milestones and making some awesome progress! I’ve had a couple of really exciting editing days!
I’m all over the place with 20+ incomplete story ideas and WIP’s. Lol I did finish one that I’m editing though. And I’m in a class where I have to write 1 short story a week. So, technically if you count those I’ve completed 7 stories. 😉 XD
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Oh wow!! XD That’s a lot, lol! That’s great though if you can keep track of them all! I think my head would be spinning. XD That’s neat! What a great way to build consistency! Those totally count! Good job!! <333