I’m one of those writers who find it a good idea to work on more than one story at a time. Others would disagree with me and think you should just stick to one project. They’re definitely not wrong, but I’ve found that method doesn’t work for me.
For me, writing a story can take anywhere from a few months to a year (depending on how much I procrastinate), so naturally during that process I am going to have new ideas for other stories. I try to ignore them, but there always seems to be that one idea that is just begging me to develop it more. It’s always in the back of my head pleading to be explored and yearning to be brought to life. I try to ignore it as much as possible, but then finally those pleas grow so loud that I have to set my project aside and give this new story seed some water, sunlight, and a little tender care. By the time I’m done, I’ve got a fully blossomed book idea and I have to write it.
But oh, what about my other project? I’ve already neglected it this whole time and it’s withered quite a bit. How am I supposed to work on both?
If you’re like me, here’s a few reasons why you should have two stories going at once:
First of all, it’s important to know which of the two stories is going to be your main project and which will be your side project. If they’re both thought of as a main project, you’re going to find it difficult to switch off between them. But having that one project which you spend most of your time on is important as a writer.
Your side project will be the one that probably isn’t outlined quite as much – the one that you just work on once in a while to give yourself a break.
You know how when you’re working on a single story for a long time, pouring all your creativity and mental energy into it… you just really start to burn out? Maybe even get a little bored? And let’s not even mention the stress…
Having another project to bounce to makes it so much easier to prevent burnout and it keeps your creativity flowing. You get to dig into your well of inspiration and pour it into something different for a bit – which I love having the freedom to do! It’s nice being able to work on something entirely different without the stress and just…let your characters lead. 😉
Now, if you bounce to your side project and find it hard to work on that, too – don’t worry! You may really just need a break. Writing is tough work, after all and it’s natural to need a break from time to time. (I’ll probably address this in another post soon.)
Obviously this won’t work for every writer because not every writer is the same. We’re all on the same pursuit, but we have different ways of reaching our destination.
So if this sounds like it will work for you, give it a try! Don’t be afraid to try something different, just make sure you do what works best for you. 🙂
Do you work on more than one story at once? Why or why not?
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