I am not a multi-tasker.
Because I dislike chaos and confusion (i.e., too many things going on at once), I tend to work on one book at a time until it’s finished. If an idea for a different story occurs to me while I’m writing, I make a note of it, but continue to write. To stop working on one story in order to fiddle with a new idea is the perfect plan for creating stacks of unfinished manuscripts. It’s why a lot of talented writers remain unpublished. But I digress.
Right now, I am going against the grain. I am working on two books at once, and it feels a little weird.
You read that right. Just don’t spread it around and ruin my reputation as a drudge.
One of the books is a simple cozy mystery. I created a nice little road map for the plot a few months ago. If I choose to do so, and have few interruptions, I can get the book written in a month.
The other book is a deep, dark, psychological tale. It is not a story to be dashed off in a flurry of enthusiasm. No indeed. A page or two, then it’s time to rest, to ponder, to meditate, to prepare for the next page or two. This book, too, has its map laid out, ready for me to follow. Unlike the mystery’s fun and gentle path, the written journey for this one is filled with metaphorical rugged valleys, tangled forests, churning waters, dangerous grounds, sudden drop-offs, betrayal, bloodshed, love, hate, goodness and darkness. There is no hurrying through this story. Word by word, slow and steady, examined and re-examined. The writing of it is going to take a while.
I’m interested in how other people fulfill their goals. Would you please share with me? Do you wait for circumstances to be just right, everything exactly in place? Do you take one goal and work hard for only that one? Do you plow ahead and get everything done at once? Do you flounder and struggle and end up quitting in frustration?