Posted by: Kerry Gans | April 28, 2011

Juggling

Life is all about juggling, right? We’re always prioritizing something because our to-do lists never seem to get any shorter. We also have to juggle because so many things on our to-do lists require input from other people—and other people are not always as on top of things as we’d like them to be.

So I, like all of you, am juggling. I’ve got my 18-month-old daughter’s needs. I’m buying a house, so I’m neck-deep in the needed inspections and paperwork. I do have a husband, too, although sometimes he’s hard to see through the piles of diapers and mortgage paperwork. There are, of course, the hundreds of things that crop up that can’t be scheduled—like the air conditioning going on the fritz. And amid all that, there is my writing.

My writing time is precious (about 2 hours a day). In that time I not only have to write, but I have to keep up with the social networking that is so crucial for every author today. I read blogs (and write them!), as well as check in with Facebook and Twitter. So even within my slice-of-heaven writing time, I must prioritize.

As far as the actual writing goes, I am juggling two projects. They are both novels in the later draft stages. One is a middle grade that is undergoing a seismic shift into a different genre. The other is a YA fantasy that is in the middle of a post-beta-reader revision. Two very different projects that have the same deadline—December.

As an unpublished writer, I have the luxury of being able to work on what I want when I want. But as a serious writer, I know that giving myself deadlines and sticking to them is necessary to get ahead in my career. I wondered how best to break up my week between the two books—in chunks such as 3 days in a row each or alternating days.

I chose to alternate days. I think springing back and forth between the two plots and the two genres will help keep my mind nimble and my enthusiasm fresh. And it allows me to always have a feeling of forward progress on both projects. So far, it is working for me.

I’d love to hear from you. How do you juggle multiple projects?

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Responses

  1. Kerry:
    I swear I have AADD, so going from one thing to another is normal for me. It just depends what strikes my fancy. So right now I’m commenting on your blog when I should be getting ready for a dinner meeting for work. But, heck! First things first, right? I have a notebook of lists – what I’m working on. I also put sticky notes on my laptop and desk to remind me what I want to do and when.
    Good luck with your writing.
    Mitzi

    Like

    • Mitzi – Well, thanks for commenting instead of getting ready for dinner! 🙂

      I normally prefer to focus on one project at a time, but right now that’s not working for me. I think becoming a mom has changed my brain chemistry and made me more flexible and less routinized. It has certainly made me more sleep-deprived!

      Hope you enjoyed your dinner meeting!

      Kerry

      Like

  2. Sometimes nicely, and sometimes…I can get disorganized. I don’t have any children, but there is the matter of my husband’s care, namely the paperwork. The NTD books & magazine takes some time, and I budget that with my revising, social networking, blogging, website changes, and yes, a full time day job. I love my weekends off.

    The work gets done when I make a list of what I need to do. The biggest frustration I run into is when I lose files. I’m not talking about paperwork, I’m talking about computer files. Organization isn’t my strongest suit, and I am trying to change that.

    Like


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