Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Decisions Decisions

Right now, I'm overwhelmed...and tired. There are so many projects vying for my attention, I don't know which to do first: judging contests, editing 2 books, 5 stories are in progress, blogging, critiquing, updating my web page, exercise, housework... Do I join NaNo this year when I'm so far behind? And I'm already late. As much as I'd love to join in the NaNo fun, I have other commitments, other needs, not to mention that I'm just beat. Obviously, I have to finish judging and editing before my deadlines. I have blogging commitments on three other blogs besides this one. So those come first - after family and the day job, that is. But let's pretend for a few minutes that I could just concentrate on the 5 stories in progress, which one do I concentrate on? I have good, impelling reasons to finish all. I have goals and plans and schemes. In an ideal world, I would work on only one until I finish it and no other works started. But I don't live in an ideal world. For instance, I'm working on one novelette on which I came to a roadblock. I need time to brainstorm and think about it. I need more inspiration before I continue. Meanwhile, I don't want my writing to come to a screeching halt, so I need to work on something else. In my case, my fickle Alphasmart cord stopped working (again) and my laptop computer battery is gasping its dying breaths so I can't use it unless I can plug it into electricity, and I have to spend entire days at the ball field with my daughter so I end up using the caveman method - paper and pen. During these times, I either get nothing done (and I'm ADHD so I can't stand to waste time and I get bored FAST unless I'm multi-tasking) or I write by hand. So I started a new story by hand. The new story's going really well and I'm compelled to work on it. Yet, I need to finish the other stories that are closer to completion, and one in particular for which I've handed in a proposal. Somehow, I have no problem remembering the details from book to book. I don't get them mixed up. This is a new me. I don't know if it's improved, but oh well. I used to be able to work on one book until it was done and then move onto the next. So what about all my fellow writers out there? Do you ever work on more than one book at once? Do you ever abandon a story for awhile because you're either blocked on it or another one seduces you and carries you away? Be sure to visit my blog tomorrow to welcome my guest blogger Kassie Burns and every Wednesday for a new guest blogger and author interview. You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

8 comments:

Nicole McCaffrey said...

I've always worked on more than one book at a time, Ashley. I think it's partly because I need that breather from historical writing from time to time. But it keeps me fresh from story to story if I take a little break from my characters now and then. A lot of times, when I come back to the story that stumped me, the stumbling block is crystal clear.

Bravo to you for being able to use pen and paper! I wish I could do that but I lose patience with myself, LOL. Ever since I first learned to type, my hands can no longer keep up with my brain if I'm writing longhand!

Here's hoping your busy schedule gives you some breathing room soon!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Right now I've got six in various stages, Ashley. Right there with you!

Molly Daniels said...

Same here! Just hope you don't have my problem and can actually read your own handwriting, lol:) Sometimes when the brain rushes ahead of the pen, I end up scratching my head wondering WTF???

As for keeping track of storylines...I was the only one in in one of my SW classes who could keep the stories straight in Common Ground. Everyone else complained they had to pick a family and read all the chapters pertaining to that family before moving onto the next one. I read that book straight through; no jumping.

So yeah, I have no problems (other than creative blocks!) working on, say, book #8 of my series, and then picking up #13 and writing another scene...and they take place 5 years apart! Or going from the series to my 'smut' works, hee hee...

Regina Carlysle said...

I used to work on only one at a time but lately I've been finding myself doing something else. Started one yesterday because the tone of it all was happier. Maybe I needed that after the "darker" WIP. I'm going to try going back and forth to see how it works because I always hit roadblocks with each ms.

Amarinda Jones said...

I work on one at a time - finish it - send it off - then forget about it and move on to the next one.

barbara huffert said...

Work on one book at a time? What a novel idea! Must try it sometime.

Ashley Ladd said...

Sometimes while I leave one book for awhile to work on another, the answer will come to me how to move it forward or take it in another, better direction.

DJ Kirkby said...

oh no! NaNo has already started?

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