Monday, June 22, 2015


Every single time I get hit with a deadline (as I did last spring, for the rewrites of my next YA, SPARK), I'm invariably in the middle of another WIP. And I never want to leave that WIP. Every single time, without fail, I spend the day or so before my editorial notes arrive hitting social media, asking fellow writers for tips on how to balance to projects at once.

Last April, I finally came clean and admitted it to myself: I cannot work on two projects at once. I just can't. I'm a one-project-at-a-time woman. I'm good at remembering where I was with the WIP that has to be put aside, and picking it all back up once the deadline's been met. But if I try to divide a day between two different narrators, two different books? The quality of both projects suffer.

If there's one thing I've learned these past few months, it's that you're better off, as a writer, owning up to your own individual process. If you're a fast writer, fantastic. Write 6,000 words a day. If you're a daily writer, that's cool, too. If you can juggle multiple projects in a day, you have my undying admiration.

But if you write at a slower pace, who's to say that's not every bit as productive? Aren't 500 solid words better than 4,000 words that have to be completely reworked? (I'm not saying anyone who writes a ton of words a day always writes a bunch of crap that has to be fixed. But if you force yourself to write at a pace that's faster than is comfortable for you, I guarantee you will write a bunch of junk that you wind up trashing later on.) If you write three days a week, and manage to churn out a solid 10,000 words, isn't that better than spending most of your week staring at a blank screen because you're burned out?

In short, don't be distracted by the ways in which other writers work. Don't assume that someone else's process is better than yours. It's not. The process that works for you is the best one. Even if that's writing two days a week, to show tunes, while wearing a stocking cap. Whatever works. Do it. Own it. It's yours.

...And if you ever see me on social media, asking for advice on how to juggle two projects, tell me to shut up, put my WIP to the side for a few weeks, and get to work on meeting my deadline. Because that's what I know works best for me...

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