I’ve recently found myself in the enviable (or perhaps not) position of having to work on three writing projects almost simultaneously. So I thought I’d share a little of my trademarked sage advice with you’ll on how to juggle multiple projects.
1) Keep Good Notes: This one is very important, because after a while, the story you’re writing about the winged man starts to shade into the one you’re working on about the gay chef in Sacramento, and the short you promised to your podcast friend about the twelve days of Christmas. Before you know it, you look up from your writing daze and you’ve written a mangled scene about an angel mixing up a batch of brownies while humming The Little Drummer Boy under his breath.
2) Hydrate Regularly: This is always a good idea when you are writing, but especially when you are on a marathon run, trying to keep track of three story threads. I recommend a case of Wild Cherry Pepsi. But if your characters are really giving you shit and your plot lines have hit a brick wall, you may need to hit the hard stuff – a trenta javachip peppermint mocha frappucino with extra whipped cream and chocolate syrup. You can practically feel your brain cells melting. Just warn your significant other ahead of time – they may want to clear out of the house for a few days. Or a week.
3) Schedule, Schedule, Schedule: And by this, I don’t mean scheduling your writing. You’re a writer. You write. You can’t help but do that. It’s more important to schedule your eating and sleeping time. You know yourself-you’ve pulled all night writing binges and gone for days without a bite of solid food before, just to finish a story. But writing isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
4) Consider Leaving Writing Altogether: This is a totally viable option. When you are feeling like you just can’t handle it anymore, pull the plug. Shut down your blog, remove your Facebook author page, dump your assorted boxes of swag in the trash, and let your Publisher know you are done.
Right, and after that, why not try swearing off chocolate for the rest of your life? You are addicted to writing, and you’ve got it bad. Why else would you continue to toil away at a job like this for next to nothing in pay and such horrendous hours? Face it, you’re stuck with this lousy, wonderful job.
5) Buy One of Those Foot Massager Things: Face it, you’re stuck at your little writing desk until the day you die, so you might as well enjoy your time there. I also recommend buying a scented candle (sandlewood is my favorite), a bag of Oreos, a Snuggie and some of those noice cancelling headphones. Hey, if you’re never gonna see the sun again, you may as well make your little writer cave comfy, right?
I hope these tips help some of my overwhelmed writer friends out there.
Just one more – learn to say “No!” when someone asks you if you want to take on another project.
I still haven’t figured out how to do that.