Writing Multiple Projects Simultaneously.

Free image courtesy Ella Jardim on Unsplash.

On a recent trip, I complained to my husband that I have too many story ideas I want to write, but I can’t write them all.

‘Why not?’ he asked.

That sounded to me like a challenge. The gauntlet had been thrown.

Challenge accepted.

I’ve always admired writers who can write more than one story simultaneously. It sounds much more productive than writing one story at a time like I’m doing now. The writing process for every author is different, and I have been prepared to change it up occasionally and experiment. Author James Scott Bell’s advice is to work on three at a time; write one, edit another, while planning your third.

Some years ago, I tried writing two different stories simultaneously, but I just couldn’t do it. I believe the timing had been wrong: – raising two young children and doing a university degree while having some casual work. Yep, not happening!

Now, I’m going to give it another try.

I’m a slow writer, and whether this makes my writing process even slower remains to be seen. Personally, it’s what I’m afraid of, but I need to remember this is not a race. If I become blocked, or I need to do more research for one of them, I know I’ve got another story ready and waiting.

Instead of writing two simultaneously, I’ll be focusing on four. Yes, four.

I won’t be writing entirely from scratch. I’m fortunate that two of my stories have already been written, so they’ll require extensive re-writes. I guess, in some respects, I am using James Scott Bell’s method with a little bit of tweaking! 😉

Also, to keep things interesting, I’m working on two Gothic sub-genres, and a sweet romance (I figure I need something a bit lighter after my darker Gothic stories).

I don’t know how long this experiment will work, or if it becomes a new part of my writing process, but whether it succeeds or fails, at least I know I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and am testing new things. We don’t know unless we try.

I’ll keep you posted with how it goes!

Writers, can you only write one project at a time, or can you write multiple? How have you changed your writing process?

6 thoughts on “Writing Multiple Projects Simultaneously.

  1. I admire you for trying something different, FOUR stories! That’s wild. I haven’t had success writing more than one at a time, but lately I’ve been taking research notes and jotting down plot points for my next novel while I finish my current one.

    1. Debbie Johansson 30/08/2023 — 11:05 pm

      Thank you, Vera. Yes, it IS wild. It will be interesting to see how I go! It’s great to hear you’ve got a couple more books are in the works. It sounds like you’re having fun with it! 🙂

  2. I tend to work on one story at any given time, but I’ll have another project or two in progress. My problem is, I get distracted from novel editing by shiny new short story ideas.

    1. Debbie Johansson 30/08/2023 — 11:09 pm

      I’m with you on the shiny new ideas, Janet. They’re are a blessing and a curse. Only yesterday, two new story ideas kept popping into my head. I would have thought four was enough! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Four sounds like a lot, but if that works for you, more power to ya! I do think it can be helpful to have more than one project going on at the same time, though one project inevitably becomes the main project and the other ends up being a side project. Still, if I get writer’s block on whatever my main current project is, spending some time on the side project can sometimes shake that blockage loose.

    1. Debbie Johansson 01/09/2023 — 1:49 am

      Thanks, J.S! Yes, it is a lot, but I’m prepared to give it a go and see how it turns out. I agree that working on a side project can help if you get stuck on the current one. It’s a good way to keep the momentum going. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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