Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Handling multiple projects...um, yeah, maybe not

Tip of the Day: Organic Fruit Leathers are on sale at Target this week. I have no idea if they will be at your Target or if the same sale’s ads are good nation-wide, but I still thought you should know.

It’s not even eleven and it’s been a LONG day. I’ve spent all morning driving around three cities to correct a stupid-human error I made this weekend. And in the process I managed to do several more stupid-human errors. Now after having been eternally grateful I only left my keys in the car with the doors unlocked instead of locked, I can rest. And problem has hopefully been corrected.

But it’s left me all flustered and I’m afraid this post might be slopped together as a result.

Originally I was going to talk about how this past weekend, I’ve been inspired to work on three of my books (two past ones that I’ve just gotten revision ideas on and a current work-in-progress I just started). And I was going to ask for input on anyone who’s juggled multiple projects at once and how it’s worked out for you.

As a result of so many stupid-human errors made this weekend, I’m beginning to wonder if maybe my idea of juggling three books was a bit too ambitious. The books are actually coming along and I made some changes last night on all three projects that I was happy with. But I’m beginning to worry if putting that much effort into the books has left me carless in other areas of my life.

Or it could just be a fluke.

What do you think? Have you juggled multiple projects before successfully? Do you have tips for us newbies in this area that are trying to figure it out? Do you have a way to bring me some fruit leathers from Target for lunch? I could really use them.

--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent


Kate Fall said...

Maybe it's just me, but working on ONE project can make me completely careless in RL. Do you know how many times I've driven past my kids' school/day care without picking them up because I was working out a story problem in my head? I don't either, because I can't count that high.

So I think you're raising a great question. Brain capacity. I don't think I could juggle three (two is my max) but perhaps it's like a muscle you exercise. Maybe practice allows you to juggle more projects at once?

Emily Marshall said...

Excellent point, Kate. And no, you aren't alone. I drive by things all the time. I have this bad problem of zoning out when driving.

And maybe I just need more practice working on multiple projects, and I'll get it worked out. Let's hope so.

DeenaML said...

Right now I'm trying to focus just on my MG, even though I was almost done with the first revsions of my YA. But I don't think I could easily switch back and forth from one to the other day to day. Maybe month to month. I need to feel like I'm getting something accomplished, like I can check something off my list, and I feel that way more if I can concentrate on one story at least for a longer stretch of time without a new story interruption.

Emily Marshall said...


I think that's how I'd like it, but the funny thing is I keep getting ideas for different books. So I've been making notes in the manuscripts and changing stuff I can fast, and then just leaving notes of things I know will take me awhile. Problem is to make the bigger changes, I know I'm going to have to take time to get back into the character before revising.

amuse me said...

As I'm reading the post and the comments, I'm thinking how we try to multi-task and where it possibly gets us. For me, it is a motivator. I can be working on one project that relates to my actual day-job while I'm jotting down ideas or daydreaming of where my story could be improved. Sometimes my best ideas come from when I'm doing something else. Is that crazy or normal?

Emily Marshall said...

Marion, I think that's normal. I usually get my best thinking done when I'm doing other things. Or when my mind is blank or more at rest: in the car or as I'm laying in bed.

Lisa Schroeder said...

I really can only work on one thing at a time. If I have an idea for a new project, and I want to jot some stuff down, I take notes on notecards, and save them for later.

I know some people will start a few things and then see which one calls the loudest. They like having a choice as to what they work on.