Inspiration strikes and with fingers fired up by the lighting of excitement I start writing away developing a piece from an amazing idea. Until inspiration strikes again and then I’m working on another piece with a drive faster than any car. Suddenly another and another and more. And now when I look into my google docs I have multiple pieces in progress: I am juggling them all to the finish line.
At first, I thought that maybe I’ve accomplished a goal I should’ve had, or that it added some experience under my belt. But after a week or so I noticed that I had almost abandoned some of my older pieces. And I realized that while I was proud to have multiple pieces to finish in my reservoir. Maybe juggling multiple pieces(the way I was) wasn’t the best thing.
So, I thought about it. As much as it was a problem, it wasn’t the biggest thing in the world. I just needed to find a solution to best solve my problem so that I can start pieces and finish them. I realized writing ideas are inevitable. I can and will have many ideas form at any time for a new book, short story or poem. But that doesn’t mean that I have to start working on ALL of my ideas right away.
Every piece requires different things to begin like planning, brainstorming, research, etc. So jumping into all ideas (with all of their different requirements), to at least start them is counterproductive (for me). I should neither jump into all my ideas or neglect all but one; The number of ideas, in general, wasn’t the problem, but instead how I managed them
With a couple of pieces to complete, I had some management to do.
How To Juggle Multiple Writing Pieces At The Same Time
In short, don’t do it. At least not with too many.
Juggling pieces successfully should come more naturally and more easily with experience/practice. But for now, my effort towards success is rotation, revisiting, and relaxation.
Having more than one piece to work on I started to rotate the pieces, trying not to work on one piece for more than 2 weeks maximum without rotating to the next one. Writing, enjoying writing, and creating good pieces is what I strive to do, but I must also keep in mind that I have multiple pieces to get done pieces that need to get done. Work must be finished.
Outside of editing and writing, I try to revisit works that I’m not working on or works that are completed or just about to be. Given that I do write a lot, I try during revision to read the piece as a whole and take quick notes to the side if I notice anything. When writing and editing I am usually looking at the piece closely, sentence by sentence, word by word, or paragraph by paragraph. So, during revision I try to make the effort to take a step back and see if the piece as a whole is good: does it have a good flow, is it sending the same message, is the voice clear and consistent, etc. I also try to view it with a reader’s mindset, to see if I enjoy it or understand it as a reader.
Writing, for me, is a process that I don’t want to rush or delay. And neither should I have tons of pieces I started and never finished. But neither should I also focus only on completing a piece, while forgetting to perfect the piece and make it good. Writing is something I love, and something that I want to produce with great quality. I don’t want to overwork it.
Quality over quantity
I believe that my writing becomes of great quality when I, the writer, am okay and not stressed out about writing. So I try to implement Rotation and Revisiting and keep good discipline but if I can’t squeeze any more creativity out of my brain I rest. If I am on fire creating a piece, I’ll give myself a little more time to work on it. And I try my best not to write all the time. Yes, I write every day or most days but not 24/7, because I don’t want to burn myself out. It’s not always obvious to me that I need a break so, I try to make breaks part of my routine and days.
I tried to juggle pieces with no direction and almost abandoned my pieces. So, I came up with my three R’s resolution: Rotation, Revisiting, and Relaxation, to solve the problem. Keeping in mind that I don’t just want completed work, but good work as well.
Writing is fun and rewarding, especially when the piece is all finished and polished. But it does require good management and discipline if you are multiple things.
Take Away Tips
My tip to you is to write your heart out wisely. If you have many ideas, write those ideas out and keep them somewhere you get them and come back to them. You don’t have to start all your ideas right away. Limit yourself to a number of pieces you know you can handle. I recommend 5 and below. Rotate working on your pieces, revisit your older pieces and relax, give yourself a break. Try your best to be consistent and disciplined, but if you fail or temporarily can’t write don’t beat yourself, relax and be inspired. Juggle responsibly!
Until my next words (on here that is)