I’ve had a problem over the last six months, and it’s both a good problem and a bad problem.
For years, I’d pretty much only worked on what I thought of, and I didn’t have a lot of space for new books, new stories, new plots, or any of that. So I didn’t write very much.
When I came to accept that I didn’t have to find another job immediately, I became flooded with book ideas for the first time in years. Flooded.
I’m really not joking. Counting them up, I have written on twelve different new projects in the last six months, and five of those are in new series. That’s more new ideas (and words) than I’ve had in the prior six years.
On the other hand, writing in twelve new projects means that I’ve felt understandably scatterbrained. In the past, I’ve only worked on one project at a time.
I need to figure out how to focus, and I need to figure out where to put my energy. Yet I need to respect that each of these projects is going to want time, so I can’t really use a “work on one project” approach, either.
Historically, I’ve been a software engineer as my day job. This means I’ve tended to work on a single part of a single project for most of the same work week. Because of that, I’m highly geared to managing my time that way.
Which means I have no effing clue how to handle my sudden change of career and apparent work style problems.
I know I could just limit myself to one project, but the honest truth is that’s not how I’m happiest, and if I’m going to do this thing, I need to figure out how to do it in a way that maximizes happiness. That means needing to let my little pantser inner child run around in the literary back yard a bit each day.
So I spent most of Sunday working on some programming (other people would use spreadsheets, but it’s about as much code for what I want to do) that will give me some word count budgets.
I’m going to create a schedule that’ll allow me to work on three projects per day, and, over the course of two weeks, will give each project some time. Most of the time will be spent on the closest-to-publication “big” book, the next biggest will be spent on the “next” book (which is typically novella length), and the third chunk of time will be spent on building another project (or projects).
I also need to figure out how to budget time for other things, like some training I’m doing, and time to recharge and all that stuff.