This post was written specifically for the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop.

At the risk of making a broad generalization, chances are good that you’ll have more than a single WIP at any given time. One of the things I’ve found is that ideas will come to you, regardless of whether they fit into what you have planned out. Maybe they can be co-opted into one piece, maybe you have to create something new to house them.

I personally think having more than the one work can be beneficial. My main reasoning is that switching between them helps keep you fresh, keep you thinking and may even result in a cross-pollination of ideas. But what is the most effective way to divide your time between WIPs?

Obviously, any work that you are currently under deadline for should take precedence but maybe not to the complete exclusion of other work. My thinking is five or six days devoted to your deadline piece with the remainder given over to a secondary work, although this would be subject to how much time you have & how much you have to do.

If you don’t have a specific deadline to work towards, then you can mix things up any way you like. Maybe an even split between them, day in and day out. Maybe doing chapters turn about. Maybe focusing on one until you hit a snag, then moving to another until you work things through. Any of these could work equally as well; it’s really down to whatever works best for you.

If you are juggling WIPs, how are you handling it?

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  1. I’m going to try dual writing again. In the past, I wasted writing time because I had to read what I’d written on the “other” book, catch up, and think about what to write next. Now that I have more time and my writing has matured, I might be able to switch off and on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like having multiple projects too. There are two main ones I flick between at the moment, and at least 3 other ideas competing for attention (as well as one fanfiction!). Generally I follow the muse where ever it leads, and I feel like my WIP juggle me, rather than the other way around! It’s nice to be able to switch projects if I don’t feel like working on one of them 🙂

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  3. As an editor I prefer to be working on one project at a time – it’s enough to have to manage that along with all the admin and marketing. I can’t imagine how published authors manage to write one project while editing another and planning or marketing a third.

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  4. I definitely agree that having multiple projects can be helpful, particularly if they are in very different stages.
    I think there are times where I long for the openness of brainstorming and developing an idea, and times where I prefer to follow the plan I have already created for myself, translating an outline into scenes.

    Generally I try to dedicate approximately half my writing time, on a week by week basis, to whatever I consider to be the primary/high priority p project, while the remainder is segmented into 10-20% segments on other aspects. Another key component, in my mind, is to settle on which type of writing work can most afford to receive no time in a given week, because sometimes the reality is something unexpected leads to a loss of writing time, and I have to decide what’s getting cut from this particular week.

    I often like to categorize my writing projects. For example, I might have 3 fiction projects, one rough draft, a revision, and a brainstorming/developing one. In addition to that I may be reading/researching a topic on writing, reviewing a published work to learn from it, and the ongoing “networking” component.
    I try to always have something for each category, and keep an excel list of all the current and potential projects that I’ve thought of.
    It’s so easy to forget about something if I don’t work on it for months (because it needs to wait its turn), so having a list of just “project titles” and categories can be very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve thought about trying multiple WIPs, but my writing time is so piecemeal that I’ve never thought I could make it work. These suggestions, especially the one about six days on one ms. and one on the other, make me wonder if it’s not more manageable than I originally thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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