Friday, August 30, 2013


I may have written something like this before. In fact, I am pretty sure I have. But I'm not going back to check. This particular iteration is in response to a post on the Book View Cafe blog, talking about having multiple projects going at once.

I usually have several projects going at once. I don’t sell work until it’s finished and can only remember one time I wrote a story to order. So the reason I do this is personal preference, rather than the demands of editors. When I get stuck on one story, I switch to another, rather than stop writing for several days, while I figure out what to do next on story # 1. Of course, I could push through the problem area in story # 1. That might work. But I prefer to let the story rest, while my unconscious (if the unconscious actually exists) mulls and finds a solution to the problem. In the meantime, I work on story # 2.

I like first drafts and don’t much like revising. If I have two stories going at once, I can have the pleasure of writing a first draft at the same time that I am trudging through a revision.

There are limits to this technique. I have a novel and six short stories in various stages of completion right now. I don’t rely on outlines, and I take only a few notes, so I have to keep all the information about the stories in my head. I find I am running out of memory room. (Many of the stories are almost done, so I don’t have to keep them all in my memory, but there are changes that have to be remembered, until I input them.)

I’m not sure I recommend this method of writing. There is a lot to be said for focusing on one project at a time.


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