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This Writing Life: Multiple Projects and Finding Your Limits

20 June, 2013

I’ve made no secret on this blog of the fact that I tend to work on several things at once. It’s something that pro writers tend to advise against, and I know it’s sometimes affected the speed at which I finish things, but I’ve long found it difficult to focus on a single project without getting bored.

However, in the last month, I’ve finally found myself reaching my limit. At one point, I had my serial fan-fic, a novel in edits, the How to Think Sideways course, this blog, a gaming blog and at least one short story on the go. All at the same time. Alongside my day-job, a handful of hobbies and a social life, such as it is.

The final straw was looking for a new home and potential business venture. Eventually, that will become my ‘day-job’, but the rollercoaster of research, travel, house viewings and constant worry began to take its toll. It wasn’t just time I was lacking when it came to my writing, but motivation and energy. I simply had to give something up.

In the end, it’s been less a case of ‘giving up’ projects, and more one of putting some aside – for now. Continuing writing for Chronicles of Tyria was top of my agenda, as was finishing the edits on Root, my current novel (25 out of 38 chapters edited! I’m so close!). The gaming blog and short stories, whilst not entirely abandoned, are very much on the back burner; this blog has been patchy in the extreme; How to Think Sideways is lined up as my next project, and I’ll be working through it as I write my next novel. Any new projects I come up with, be they courses, stories, blogs or something entirely difficult, will just have to wait.

Am I happy about putting some projects aside? Well, not really. Doing so has been a steep learning curve, compared to the way I used to work. However, there comes a time when you have to admit that you simply can’t do everything, and that it’s better to slow down than burn out. When you’re in anything for the long haul, knowing your limits is important, whether you want to admit it or not!

So, tell me, am I the only writer out there who’s obsessed with working on as many things as possible? Or are you just the same – and if you are, have you reached your limits yet?

  1. 20 June, 2013 1:28 pm

    Reached my limit working on 4 blogs & trying to write a novel. Add the daily drama of work, kids, and moving to it and all my other commitments I started dropping things that were less important or not important to me.

    • 21 June, 2013 9:16 am

      I’m impressed that anyone would ever consider trying to manage four blogs at once, on top of everything else you were doing! Somehow, blogging takes a lot more of my time and energy than it should do – it can take me as long to write a single 400 word blog post as it does 2000 words of fiction.

      • 21 June, 2013 11:06 am

        It’s crazy is what it is. I was taking college classes too. I ended up not updating my hobby blog for 6 to 9 months. I use to just throw stuff out there, whenever the mood struck. Now I’m trying to focus on quality over quanity. I often write mine in little sessions, I email myself from work ideas, pharagraphs, and such.

        • 21 June, 2013 12:15 pm

          Yes, quality over quantity is a good way of looking at it! I think that’s how I need to see all my various projects – I’m cutting down on the number of them so I can focus on making the rest as good as possible.

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