View Full Version : Just Curious: Number of Projects

10-10-2008, 08:54 PM
I'm just wondering if I'm the only person who works on multiple stories (I think of them as "projects") at a time. I know I can't be. How many do you usually work on at a time?

Of course, this can include stories, articles, columns, etc etc. And apologies if this is on the wrong board, it seemed the most appropriate!

10-10-2008, 11:08 PM

10-10-2008, 11:38 PM
I cannot work on more than a couple at a time. I need to really focus or I end up not really completing anything.

10-10-2008, 11:40 PM
Two's my limit.

Lady Cat
10-11-2008, 12:13 AM
Right now I have 3 on the go, but I might be adding another one if I decide to give NaNo a try this year.

I like having more than one project on the go. If I get stuck in one I've always got something else to work on.

10-11-2008, 12:17 AM
On my desk at the moment I have 6, not counting editing or rewriting projects. If you add the colloborative project it's 7.

10-11-2008, 01:39 AM
I'm working on two different novels in various stages plus writing a new short story each week for my writing class. So I guess 3.

10-11-2008, 01:52 AM
I'm editing one and writing another. That's enough for me, and even then I don't like splitting my time between two projects.


Linda Adams
10-11-2008, 03:08 AM
Four. One in second/final draft stage. The other three are in the planning stage. I'm mainly doing research for them right now.

10-11-2008, 03:17 AM
I'm working on two. Editing one and writing the rough draft for the other. I don't tend to like splitting my focus so I was going to do the editing on the first one completely before I started really working on the rough draft for the second novel, but I'm finding I miss writing new prose every day so I've decided to work on both.

10-11-2008, 03:31 AM
Right now? Four. Two novels, one short story, and one novelette. I don't outline, so when I hit a sticking point in the plot, I switch to one of the other projects until I've figured out where the story needs to go next.

It keeps me writing and editing every day. :)

10-11-2008, 03:32 AM
I have MGD. Also known as Multiple Genre Disorder. Not only do I have several different WIP at one time, but they're all over the board. Humorous poems (humorous because I'm most definitely not a poet), conversational religious essays, horror stories, middle grade novel being worked on.... Right now I have four different projects going.

10-11-2008, 03:41 AM
Fifteen short stories and one novel (about to become two when November starts).

10-11-2008, 03:42 AM
^^Okay. Polenth wins. 15 short stories at one time. :e2thud: ^^

10-11-2008, 04:13 AM
I'm polishing one novel for betas and four more shorts for submission. Three fledgling novels are vying for my interest as the next primary WIP.

I'm also working on two constructed languages and a programming language (including the formal spec, a compiler, and a tutorial). Since the latter is still just barely outperformed by Python for many use cases (embarrassing) it'll probably never see the light of day.

10-11-2008, 04:32 AM
One I'm working on and 2 I have plans to write and 1 new idea that's perculating in my brain as I type.

10-11-2008, 11:23 AM
I have MGD. Also known as Multiple Genre Disorder. Not only do I have several different WIP at one time, but they're all over the board. Humorous poems (humorous because I'm most definitely not a poet), conversational religious essays, horror stories, middle grade novel being worked on.... Right now I have four different projects going.

So that's what's wrong with me! I'm currently revising a memoir, writing a mystery, plotting a historical YA, and thinking about the germ of an idea for another mystery. I thought about NaNo to get that one off the ground, but don't have anything solid enough to wing it.

Ms Hollands
10-11-2008, 01:59 PM
1 novel being written.
2 novels being thought about but not actively doing anything yet (want to finish novel #1 first).
3 part-time/freelance non-fiction writing jobs on the go.
1 blog.

kct webber
10-11-2008, 02:38 PM
I have MGD. Also known as Multiple Genre Disorder.

I'm with Stormie. I have 4 novels on the burner in different stages--one on final edit. I also have about 12 short stories currently, in various stages. And these are in fantasy, scifi, literary, horror, humor, and hybrids of the former.

I certainly have no excuses for not writing if I get stuck on something.

10-11-2008, 04:14 PM
I used to, but I found it too distracting for me.

Now I write a quick first draft (if I don't get it down quickly, I lose the drive), and then while that composts, I edit an earlier project.

Everyone falls into a working pattern that's comfortable for them and produces the best results. Do what works best for you.

10-11-2008, 05:30 PM
The question everyone with multiple ongoing projects should ask themselves is, "How is it working for you?" By how is it working, I mean are you completing the projects on a regular basis? If the projects are being completed, then there is no problem. You are an individual who can work on and complete more than one project at a time (this business is like all others--there are many "types" of individuals involved). However, if you are a beginning or developing writer and/or an unpublished writer, and you have multiple projects going but none completed, or you are having trouble completing the ones you are working on, you need an honest sit-down with yourself. The object of this writing game is to finish a project and get it out there. Then finish another one and get it out there. Period. If your brain is so scattered that you can't work up a series of projects, each to completion, you may not be fit for this business at this time, with your current approach. By far, the most important trait for any creative activity without specific deadlines is self-discipline. And on these threads, we hear all of the justifications, all of the rationalizations for jumping from unfinished project to unfinished project. My mind just can't stay on one idea. I have to get all of my ideas down or I'll forget them. I'm a good multi-tasker. I jump to another project when I get stuck on the one I'm working on. And my favorite--my muse does this or does that and keeps me from finishing. How convenient to blame a figment of your own mind to explain a fault in that same mind. Beats blaming the person in the mirror, doesn't it?

Easy isn't it? So easy to not finish anything. This isn't a rant, it's a challenge. For everyone who jumps to some other project every time writing get a little sticky on a current project, finish one and come back and shove it in my face. Show me I'm full of sh!t (but just don't tell me). Show me (don't just tell me) that you can finish a project and get it in shape to submit. I dare you. I'll be first to raise the flag of contratulations. But do it. Prove to everyone here at AW that I am full of sh!t. This is my finish-and-submit challenge. Maybe I'll open a thread for it.

Appalachian Writer
10-11-2008, 06:06 PM
I've tried working on more than one piece at a time, but I've found it doesn't work for me. My projects are usually so different that each requires a different mind set. I have one completed novel (that revise and resubmit line in my sig *whoopee*). I have another that's got about 30K words right now. It's been resting for a while because for some reason I lost my muse where it's concerned. The third of my projects is heading toward the finish line. It's at slightly over 89K and rising. If I were to try to work on the 2 WIP's at the same time, I might get them confused. HEY! I'm old and I've had six mini-strokes, cut me a break! :D

10-11-2008, 06:10 PM
Usually 6-7

In a couple different genres/lengths/stages of development.
(There's only so much editing I can do before I feel myself getting into "rewriting just to be writing".

10-11-2008, 06:19 PM
I can't keep track of how many things I'm working on at a time, seeing as I don't relegate any unfinished project to total oblivion, I just put it on hiatus, possibly for a long time.

I work on numerous projects but it's usually such that I'm devoting almost all my time to one or two in particular. I haven't been keeping up on it lately, but for a time I was working on two different serials, and in between those I would sometimes work on the occasional shorter story/novella. I also started rewriting an older novel.

But like I said, it's not really like I sit here and do all of them at once. I work on one, or another, sometimes within days of each other, sometimes within months. And it's usually just one project that takes up most of my attention. Right now that's my serial.

I could literally work on more than one story in a day if I felt like it, but I prefer to limit my writing output daily so I don't burn myself out, and that usually means working on just one.

And yes, I have finished some (admittedly not all, but some) of these things that I've started, not that I'm going to take up any sort of challenge on it. My current WIP is the third in a series (two completed previously, while I was also working on numerous shorter stories and novellas which were also completed).

10-11-2008, 10:36 PM
One at a time for me, with novels taking precedence. Between novels I'll flitter and dither over this or that, but all the while I'm taking notes or finishing up research for the next novel (Robert E. Howard called it "filling the well"). Most of those little dithery side projects will never see the light of day; most aren't even intended for public consumption. Once critical mass has been reached with the next novel idea the blinders come on and my one-track mind takes over.

I'll echo what NeuroFizz says: it's not how many projects you work on; it's how many you finish. If you're working on 12 things and not finishing a single one, then you have a serious problem. No one pays* for half-finished manuscripts and unrealized ideas.



*I understand some people don't write for pay. Suffice it to say: I don't get that, but it's more a shortcoming of my own than anything else.

10-11-2008, 11:00 PM
I'm now up to 7. I'm constantly learning about the art of writing and have to go back to make corrections, (a huge re-write on MS 2 when I learned about head-hopping).

Hopefully I'll have it right sometime soon.

I also have stories I've put aside as I concentrate on another, then I go back when the inspiration comes.

10-13-2008, 01:23 AM
Just one at a time. I've had idea's for other stories, but i just roughly outline them, so i can go back to them in the future.

It's taken me 9 weeks to get 24k words on my 1 wip, if I had anymore i'd never finish anything, lol.


10-13-2008, 06:03 PM
Right now technically I have three novels in various stages of beginning. However, I'm only actively working on one. I suppose once I have a first draft complete, I'll either go to the next one or jump straight into revisions. Or possibly do both. I feel that writing more than one at a time would be too confusing, especially since they're all in the same genre.


10-13-2008, 11:45 PM
I may have Multiple Genre Disorder, but I do finish most projects. Some right way (like an essay) and then on to rewrites, others languish a little until I want to get back to them. Which I usually do. I've also been known to take two stories and combine them as one. Click my link below for a humorous poem, then on to my website and my CV for all I've completed--and had published--in eight years. Having several mss. going at one time is the best way for me to work.

10-22-2008, 01:24 AM
I'm new to this particular thread. Stormie referred me to this and one other thread, because I just asked the question about multiple works at once, on another thread that I probably shouldn't have.
There were yes and no's all over the other, but it basically boiled down to whatever works for you. But then I come here and everybody is working on several at a time. 5,6,7. I don't recall his/her name. But 15 short stories! I really think I'll give it a shot. Because I have so many in my head and I can only totally let one go once it's been written, I have to do something. It's so distorted in there that I can't hear the voice's anymore....I mean, my own thought's.
But seriously. I've been writing a long time. I won't say exactly, because then you might get an idea of how old I am. But here is the thing. Like I said, I've been doing this a long time. But on both of the threads I've been on today. I've seen the word's; NaNo and Beta. I've heard of Beta before, but still don't know what it is. And then theres NaNo.
Little help.

10-22-2008, 11:21 PM
Two novels. One is about 55,000 words, and the other is just a few paragraphs and ideas, as my signature says.

I also am constantly writing short stories, poems, and essays and trying to some publishing credits with those.

10-23-2008, 07:58 AM
Well, I'm a first time writer so all my hopes rest on my current WIP. If I'm successful with it, I may consider writing more. However, I doubt that I'd be able to handle more than one work at a time. My current WIP demands a lot of my time and brain activity. I just can't do another without upsetting my usual lifestyle.

10-23-2008, 10:31 PM
I have:

-- A novel about to enter the third and probably final draft.
-- A novel in rough outline being researched.
-- Two short stories in first draft process.
-- Two short stories being researched and developed.
-- Lots of short story bunnies contentedly munching alfalfa in their cozy holding pen.
-- Three completed short stories under eternal submission.
-- Three completed short stories awaiting publication.
-- One master agent list being developed and researched.
-- Queries and synopses for Novel 1 under development.
-- Three shelved but not abandoned novels either complete or in first draft.
-- Bunch of poems I need to start subbing.

I tend to concentrate on one project at a time, with side trips into the others. Once I start the third draft of the novel on top of the list, all else will be put on hold until it's done. Then, while it's being subbed, I can continue research on the next novel and work on shorts, marketing, bunny breeding.