It happens to the best of us. Your halfway done with your current WIP (work-in-progress) and then you get a new idea for a new book. (Hello shiny new idea syndrome!) You're so excited that you pause your current WIP to work on this new idea, but you're guilty because your first WIP is calling out to you to finish its story. Now you're frustrated because you don't know how to dedicate your time and energy to work on both. How do you balance your time between multiple writing projects? Read on for my four tips.
-Stay Organized: I like to utilize a different writing notebook and Scrivener file for each story idea. For you, that could mean utilizing the same or using a different Word file, or even an Evernote file. The key is to have a separate place for each idea so you aren't confused when your trying to remember where you wrote down a great piece of dialogue or a name you wanted to incorporate in your story. It's also good to have a dedicated place for you to write down any ideas or scenes for each particular book so you can then organize those files and scenes into an outline that you can easily refer to when you work on each particular story.
-Get In The Zone: Before writing, ask yourself what book your feeling excited to work on that day. If it's Book A then take your ideas for Book B and try to push them to the back of your mind. To help with this it may be a good idea to develop a particular routine with each writing project. For instance, when working on my Book A, I like to go to a coffee shop like Starbucks, and sit at a table with a hot drink at my side. When working on Book B, I like to relax in a comfy armchair at home with my feet up and music playing softly in the background. When I recreate those environments, it gets my brain in the zone for that particular story, and I have an easier time connecting with the characters and cranking out words. Also, when sitting down to work on a particular book idea remind yourself what your goals for that particular writing session. How many words do you want to write? What scene do you want to focus on? What did you write last? Take some time to read what you wrote for that writing project previously and focus your mind on the task at hand.
-Have A Plan: Are you more productive at the beginning of the week? Do you have a deadline you've set for when you would like to publish a particular book? Try planning out your weeks and months. If you know the deadline for a particular story idea is quickly approaching, try to dedicate more days that month to that book. Have a stressful week coming up? Choose the easy book idea that doesn't require a lot of research to work on that week.
-Don't Be Afraid To Drop A Project: Listen to your intuition. Of course, you want to focus on that shiny new story idea or that new writing project, but if you find that certain writing projects are suffering as a result of you trying to focus on multiple ones at the same time, then don't be afraid to push a writing project to the side. Sometimes, you may have to be patient and only focus on one project at a time and that's okay.
I hope this article was helpful in helping you balancing multiple writing projects. If you have any questions, or additional writing tips please leave them in the comment section down below.