Dissonance, Malcolm Stone, NaNoWriMo, Reverie, The Writer, Writing Process

Multi-tasking in writing?

I have the horrendous habit of starting a new project before finishing the last.  I love starting projects, but something (probably a new project) distracts my attention.   I have a half-finished knitted scarf, a bunch of beads I was going to make jewelry with, material I planned on making a skirt out of, blogs some of which are half abandoned or fully abandoned, then last but not least stories.  The discovery in our house is if I say I “need” to finish or do something, it’s not going to get done.

Last week I took half the week off from work to get some stuff done around the house… it “needed” done.  Needless to say most of it was put off for another day, but not all was lost.  While I was “digging” around for an old word document, I found four abandoned stories.  They had been projects for NaNoWriMo or character development, but once I had gotten what I wanted from them I set them aside to go back to working on my main project at the time, Reverie.

I spent last Wednesday and Thursday writing for several hours, but I never once touched Dissonance.  I had written myself into a bit of a corner and wasn’t sure where to go next.  It was a relief to have found those old stories, one of which I shared the first two chapters last week and the other is a coming of age story that started as a paranormal ghost story, but turned into something different.  I am not sure which way I will eventually take that story, but eventually it may become the main project.

While I was writing and editing and enjoying the freedom of working on something other than Malcolm’s story, I started to get ideas about where to go next with Dissonance.   I spent Friday evening into the early morning hours of Saturday writing on Malcolm’s story.  I am not certain what my ending word count for the day was, but I redeemed a character, broke up a relationship, and started Malcolm down the path that leads to the sequel Reverie.  I considered that a successful day.

Until last week, I had considered my blog to be my side project to writing, but now I realize I should always have an additional writing project out on the wings.  I got so much writing and plotting done on my novel, just by freeing up space in mind and being creative on something that wasn’t my main focus.  I thought since I have such difficulties finishing projects, I should only work on one at time, but I think I was wrong.  I think I need to have multiple projects going at the same time just to let me relax from my own pressures of finishing what I started.

What about you?  Other than your blogs do you write on multiple projects at a time or do you focus your time on one?

Sunset Point Turkey Run State Park
Sunset Point
Turkey Run State Park



4 thoughts on “Multi-tasking in writing?”

  1. Like you, I need several projects at a time to keep me and my creativity going. Working on something else releases a previous tension I may have had with a different story. Novel-wise, I currently need to modify a character. This is difficult, therefore I have to do a lot of research and – switch to the odd short story in order to return to the novel and the required character changes.


  2. I just shelfed a project even though I’m not done with the 1st draft. I was trying to multi-task within the project too much. I didn’t know what my setting were. I didn’t have any clear-cut ideas of who my characters were, not even the main one. My plot was looooose. I know this happens when you’re a newbie, which I am, but still, it was foolish.


    1. I’m not sure I would describe it as foolish, but rather a learning curve. The plot in my first drafts are normally pretty loose. It gives me a starting place, and room to grow. I can tighten it up along the way once I figure out who the characters are or where the setting will be. Don’t give up on your project yet, a few days rest might be exactly what you need. 🙂


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