Posted on April 13, 2013
Once again, I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve updated my writing journey. I’d love to tell you that in that amount of time, I wrote two books, but alas – I’m not that prolific. However, I have been contemplating what it takes to be a writer, what I need to accomplish in order to justify taking time off working in order to write, and how I need to kick into gear. One of my decisions is that I need to kill the idea of writing my one little darling project and start working on multiple projects.
My decision gets wrapped up in my obsession about the publishing world. I could write an entire blog post on the woes of publishing. Lately, I’ve been getting a serious headache in researching both sides of the same coin and realizing that there is no clear answer to how to go about getting a writer’s work out there. For those who self-publish, it means taking on the responsibility of both writer and publisher, which is not an easy task for those who are not business-minded. For those who want to publish through traditional paths, it can take a long time to get out of a slush pile and into a bookstore. Both sides have good arguments for existing. So how does it affect my writing?
Well, the simple truth is that if there’s no easy way to get a manuscript out there, and putting eggs into one basket doesn’t seem like the responsible thing to do. So after much hemming and hawing, I decided that I needed to let go of the idea of writing one book at a time and start embracing the multi-book model.
Here’s how it works for me: I will continue to write in the same basic genre that I would write for all of my work – fantasy/paranormal. If that’s my overall tent, then it leaves me lots of options in terms of what I can write underneath it. So far, I’ve got three different projects – one adult, one new adult, and one young adult.
But wait – isn’t that incredibly confusing? It could be confusing and has caused me a few gaffs when I first executed my plan. I don’t work on those books simultaneously. A writer’s brain can’t just switch back and forth easily. However, I’ve got basic outlines for each book. I’ve created different POV characters to help my brain distinguish between them. And I’ve even got a difference in narrative POV. In one, I’m writing in third person limited. In another, it’s first person present tense. That way, my brain has a clear idea of which one it’s working on.
Why write three when I can perfect one? Well, the reality is that I really am just working on one at a time. What I mean by having three open writing projects is that I don’t ever want to wake up in the morning and not write. When I was working on just one manuscript, I’d have days where the ideas just weren’t flowing. So I’d find other things to do – research, nap, watch TV, procrastinate. And that gets no writing accomplished. With three projects, if I can’t figure out how to move forward on one of them, I can move to another.
I will admit that this plan is a work in progress, and I will have to keep you up to date on whether or not it works. In terms of what I plan to do with the manuscripts is something I’m trying to stay aware of but not let consume me. I’m researching more into self-publishing so that when the time comes, I can make the most informed decision about what to do. For now, I just need to concentrate on writing!