One of my writing nonfiction students has been struggling with which one of two topics to choose for her project. The problem is that she’s waiting to hear back from someone about Topic #1 so she wasn’t sure if she should go ahead and pursue Topic #2.
I suggested that she pursue both. While she waits to hear back on Topic #1 she should work on Topic #2. Sometimes it is just a good idea to have a back up.
Me? I always work on more than one thing at once. This past week this list included:
- The young adult science fiction novel I am roughing out,
- A picture book about caves that had stalled out but on Thursday THE solution came to me so I need to get back to work,
- A picture book about schools that I roughed out,
- The 8th grade level manuscript that I’m researching for Abdo,
- A picture book about space flight that I roughed out, and
- Oh, I nearly forgot. And the pitch that I’m working on.
Why so many things at once? I’ve been working on 1 and 2 for a few weeks now but #2 had stalled out so I was focusing on #1.
I roughed out #3 while working something up for the blog.
The idea for #5 came to me while I was researching #6 so I quickly roughed it out so that I’d have the idea down.
Yeah. I’m probably a little crazy. Right now my focuses are#4 since I have a deadline Friday and #6 which is due tomorrow. But I’m also trying to work on #1 a little bit every day.
I am a very focused, intense writer. If I know where I am going with something, I can rough out 250-350 words in about 15 minutes. But once I’ve written this intensely for at most 30 minutes I’m pretty much done for an hour or so. I can do research. I can play with my frame for a story. But I can’t write that hard until I’ve done something else for a while.
What can I say? This is what works for me. How do you write? Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?