A funny thing about being a writer is this: there are about eight billion ways to do your job, and not a one of them is wrong. Every writer has his or her own way of doing it. Some people write beginning to end. Some people write the parts that come to them whenever they come. Some people write fast, others slow. Some outline, others do not.
The problem I run into is this: Most writers, and I mean MOST writers, write one book, finish it, and move on to the next. If there are exceptions to this, I haven’t heard of many. I, on the other hand… Well, I cannot. I write in fits and starts. I will go full throttle on a story, get a ton of really intense writing done. Then, suddenly, another story pops its head up. “Ooh, Ooh, Mr. Kotter!” (LOL did I just age myself?). So I dive into that one. Write and write, and suddenly, that other story says, “Hey, what do you say you let me have a turn?”
I’ve been warned and warned about this. “Don’t do this,” those big famous people say. And they give several reasons, like you won’t finish a novel that way, you’ll take too long, you won’t be as focused…. Well, guess what. Over the past two years I’ve been forcing myself to focus on one novel at a time. And guess what.
No, no… I’ve written. I’ve written a bunch. But it’s not good. It’s not the intense, focused stuff I used to write. It’s nothing that keeps me locked to my keyboard or pad, crying my eyes out. No, by sticking to my one novel at a time, I am breeding mediocrity. I am writing things that I don’t care about. I’m ignoring characters trying to get characters who don’t want to talk to talk. Yes, in the long run, I care about the story, but it’s like those friends you have. You love them to death, but you can’t live with them all the time, because you just get on each other’s nerves. You start to doubt, do I really like this person? Or, is this really the story for me to write?
I’ve written novels, so I know I can do that. And I know that I love the stories that I am working on. I’m not writing under contract right now, and I don’t have any deadlines that are not self imposed. Working on a couple novels at once can’t hurt my writing, since I don’t feel like I’m getting anything done right now by working on one at a time.
So, I’ve decided to do things my way.