I was digging through the archives of Rachelle Gardner’s Rants and Ramblings
when I found an incredibly helpful post,
“Let's start with the obvious. Why are you writing two or three books at once? Don't you find your focus is hampered? Are you sure that writing more than one book at a time is the way to do your best work? Personally, I think multi-tasking is over-rated and I believe people do their best writing when their focus isn't divided. This is especially true when you're unpublished and still learning the craft of writing for publication.
I understand many people are still trying to find their place as a writer, and much of the writing at this point is experimental. Am I a historical romance writer or am I better at contemporary suspense? What do I enjoy most? Is my heart more in fiction or non-fiction? These are valid questions and it takes some experimentation to find out the answers. The part that makes me worry is when writers assume all their "experiments" are worthy of publication. You're probably better in one genre than another...
So let's just get this out in the open: How many of you are unpublished and working on multiple projects simultaneously, with an eye toward publication for all of them? Are they the same genre or different? Why are you doing this? Inquiring minds want to know.”
Most of the comments to this post revealed that people generally focus on one project at a time but still collect other ideas to develop later.
This realization was the kick in the pants I needed to get focused. I have 3 or 4 projects threading their way through the pages of my notebook. However, I have resolved to pick one and work hard on it until it is finished, revised, edited and submitted. I can then focus my attention on the next project. I am fairly certain that this is the only way I can actually finish a project.
This is not to say that I will not be collecting ideas, scrawling half finished poems or pontificating on prompts I come across. I will most certainly continue to prime all my creative pumps, but I want to finish something. My plan is to dedicate 2-3 months to do just that.
The first project to come under the force of my focused attention is a screenplay I began this summer but recently abandoned. It is an epic story based on the life and death of an ancient hero. I won’t go into details now but we will see how it goes.