Juggling

Recently, I read that Jane Yolen works on multiple projects simultaneously. (Alas, I can’t find the article or post now. I knew I should have “saved” it.) She does mention in her FAQ for kids that she always works on several projects, sometimes as many as 10 at once!

That’s impressive. I slog along on the same project, often for months – if not years. And while I do have multiple ideas, I rarely work on more than one at a time. Perhaps I’m doing this all wrong.

What I remember reading is that Jane believes that working on many different projects – in different formats – allows each piece of writing to inform the others. Her creativity remains high, and often a poem or story will spark something for one of her novels.

I find this fascinating. Not just the sheer amount of creative energy needed to write so much, but also the fact that she can switch so easily between prose and poetry, short pieces and longer ones. Many folks read more than one book at a time; perhaps that’s similar?

I’m not a huge fan of multi-tasking. Often it’s a symptom of too many priorities and too little time. But maybe multi-tasking as a writer is different? Not just a way to be more productive, but a way to free up the subconscious as you work on other projects?

But the logistics puzzle me. Do you work on more than one piece in a day? Mornings for one, afternoons for another? More than one each week, alternating days, perhaps? What do you do if you like to work on more than one piece?

I’m juggling right now – writing this as I wait for my first library class to come in. And I write different things each week: this blog, analyses of manuscripts, critiques for my partners, my novel draft, and even the occasional “pome.”

Maybe I’m ready to stop juggling time and start juggling projects. Big ones. Novel ones. 🙂

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