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photo by Sorosh

Some writers work on more than one project at the time. But is it something for you?
Let’s take a closer look at that phenomena and see pros and cons.

Distraction

When Project A gives you problems, characters don’t want to co-operate and basically you’re stuck, it’s sometimes good to switch to something else. So Project B might be exactly what you need.
Allow your brain to take a break from one thing by distracting it with something different. And when Project B turns on you, you can easily go back to Project A. And so on and so forth.

On the other hand, if you don’t try to solve the problem you face with Project A right away, the break might not help at all. Also, it might take you some time to get in touch with the plot and the conflicts in your story. The feel of it might be gone. And what then?

Choice

Nobody can deny this. If you’re working on more than one project at the time, you always have a choice. You spend Monday working on Project A, but when you turn on your computer the next day, suddenly you decide to open the file with Project B. Three days later you switch to Project C. And you keep writing. You keep creating stories and it feels amazing.
What’s the disadvantage of that?

You also keep dividing your attention. You might be writing ten stories at the time and have ideas for another ten. But you might also find it easier to start another project than to finish one you’re already writing.

Too Much

While it might sound surreal, there really is something like writing too much. Especially if you spend everyday writing, switching between projects. Your brain, after working so hard for too long, might simply refuse to create anything new. And you’re facing a serious case of Writer’s Block (one you might not be able to deal easily with).

But if you’re not one to go into creative high and you are capable of keeping the ‘dosage’ on a reasonable level, then who knows. You might never experience ‘creative overdosing’ :).

There is also another type of writers. When presented with a choice (work on Project A, Project B or Project C), they are unable to make a final decision.
Because when they do, somewhere at the back of their head, something tells them that working on that other story would be a lot more productive. As a result, they can’t concentrate on the story they decided to write.

If you’re that kind of a person, then I’m very sorry. Multitasking is not for you.

Multitask or not?

Much like with sex, it’s a matter of personal preference. You can definitely try it out, see if it works for you.
I know writers who work on many project at the same time and others who faithfully still to one until it’s done. And in both cases the finished story is great. So even though their method differ, it’s the way the write.

Multitasking and dividing your attention might be something for you, but if not, it doesn’t make you any less of a writer.

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