Symptoms of writer’s brain:
1. Overwhelming desire to drop everything and explore a new idea.
2. Inability to focus because five things are clamoring for attention.
3. Disconnect with the world around us due to immersion in whatever we’re working on.
I didn’t always have writer’s brain. In fact years went by with me functioning quite well. Before I got serious about getting published, I worked on one idea or project at a time. By the time I signed with my agent, I’d gotten into the habit of plotting one book while writing and revising another, as well as keeping up with daily social media tasks.
Now that my career has been moving forward, I constantly deal with multiple projects. This causes writer’s brain on a regular basis. For example, this week I’m working on:
1. Initial promotion plan for Unexpected Family.
- Organizing a group Facebook party for launch date.
- Emailing bloggers to set dates, guest posts and interviews for blog tour.
- Setting up a private Facebook group for readers who want to help spread the word about my books (if you would like to be a member, please email me jill(at)jillkemerer(dot)com).
2. Write the first fifty pages of new book to submit on proposal. I’m 5,ooo words in and plan on finishing the draft this week.
3. Continue working on nonfiction book.
- Ordered a book on copyrights and permissions.
- Drafting another chapter.
4. Reading one book I agreed to influence.
5. Write a short piece for my church’s outreach committee.
6. Update the home page of my website (I do this the first of each month).
With all these projects, it gets difficult to prioritize.
Should I write another scene of the fiction proposal first? Or type another chapter of the nonfiction? How do I fit in the promotion tasks? How long will it take me to read the book I’m influencing, and when should I start it (I already know I won’t want to put it down!)?
All those thoughts swirl, throwing me into writer’s brain. It’s not pretty. It’s easy to get stuck really quick! Instead of wallowing in a bag of M&Ms, I looked at my week and decided what to work on and when.
- Mondays are always full of chores and errands, so I fit my promotion tasks in between them. I drafted the short piece for church Monday night.
- Tuesday brought more time-consuming morning chores/errands, but after lunch, I worked on my fiction proposal until we had to leave for my son’s baseball game. I sketched out the next scene while the boys warmed up before the game.
- This morning I’ll be updating my home page and writing more of the fiction proposal. Tonight I’ll take notes on the copyrights and permissions book.
- Tomorrow I’ll continue the fiction proposal and revise the church piece before sending it. We have another baseball game, which means I can read a few chapters of the book I’m influencing before the game.
- Friday I should be finished with the proposal draft, so I’ll write another chapter of my nonfiction then.
- And this weekend I’ll read the rest of the book I’m influencing.
Even if the week doesn’t go according to plan, I know I’ll meet the majority of my goals. Best of all, none of my current projects will fall through the cracks. Phew!
It’s not easy to prioritize. It’s certainly not easy to make progress on multiple projects! But this is part of my job, and I love my job. I get excited every day (and a little panicky at how to fit it all in) to develop ideas into books and to promote them. It just takes a little planning and a lot of focus. 🙂
How do you deal with multiple projects?
Share your tips! And have a wonderful day!