Bad author! No beer for you.

Today was kind of an odd day. I worked through all the writing chores I could think of. Today is also the day I call my parents, something I do every week. Then my daughter showed up for an hour. She likes to talk about her job and her cat. The dogs are starting to get along with the kitten and it’s kind of cute that he tries to play with them. Otto really is more curious than anything, but he’s kind of indifferent to the whole idea. Frankie concerns me. She’s been pretty good, but she’s gotten slapped more than a few times.

About the time my daughter had to go to work, she put the kitten away, leaving me with the morning phase of the dogs. The morning phase is more calm than the evening phase. I opened the Estivation manuscript and made a light editing pass. Then I added a few words, nothing to really brag about. Something just isn’t working for me yet here. I need to transition the characters from a getting used to the new normal phase to an outright horror phase. I don’t want to jump in too fast, and I just need some more daydreaming time on it. Right now it’s coming across like a recipe card and not an engaging story.

Sooo, I reviewed all my storyboards. Then I created some folders in my word processor. A little time on Google, and I came up with a few names. With names, I created a couple of casts of characters.

Then I wrote 1500 quick words on a new project. File name The Lantern Fish, it will eventually be Something Of The Lantern Fish. It will come to me later.

Lisa Burton

I know, I know. This is bad. It felt so good though. The words flowed pretty well too.

One thing I believe in is finishing the stories I start. I have one (two) chomping at the bit, and Estivation feels like it needs more daydreaming time. I really should force myself to finish Estivation and deal with issues in the editing phase. If I don’t get the length I’m targeting, I can always park it for another Experimental Notebook.

On the other hand, I have worked on one novel and some short stories at the same time. Could a novella work as my side project? I don’t really know, because I haven’t tried before. Short stories and micros, sure.

What do you guys do? I wrote one of my Experimental Notebooks as a side project. The other one was the main project, but there were multiple stories going on at the same time.

I think I can do this by making Estivation my side project.

Here’s where it gets crazy. I have another novel that would also make a great side project. I’m sorely tempted to start it too. This one doesn’t even have a complete storyboard, but I already know all the characters and several situations that have to happen. Then there is that one I may never write, and it has a complete outline.

Winter has always been my best writing time, so I think I have to lay down some rules. Two projects at once might be possible. Four probably aren’t.

Seriously, what do you guys do when this happens? I know some of you write pretty fast, so maybe it’s not an issue to just wait. I’m a weekend warrior and quality writing time is limited. I have to be a little selective as to what I spend that time on.

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “Bad author! No beer for you.

  1. I can have a few projects rolling along together at the ‘ideas/scenes/research’ beginning stages, but unless I pick one as my main focus, I get too scattered and it’s too easy to procrastinate from there. The good thing is once I get that main one rolling my brain rewards me by every now and then, sending a few thoughts toward the side ones … so they don’t feel abandoned and leave. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always amazed by your ability to work on several things at once. About all I can do is a seven day a week blog and my current Ned Tranes book. So what do I do? Pretty much one project at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All I can do is laugh, because I’m over here like, “What is finish?” 😛
    I wish I had some of your focus? ambition? dedication? Nah, I wish I had endless amounts of time. Even when I had a lot more, it wasn’t enough. That being said, when the urge to write hits, when an idea strikes, I write. But finish? Hah.
    Also, when Sadie and Cletus play, it is the most adorable thing ever. I’m so glad we got her a kitten.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Since I do novels, I can’t really do two full projects at once. I outline or prep blog posts when things are too chaotic. Those are easier to step in and out of. Wish I had better advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My situation is different to yours, since writing is my only job. The difficulty for me lies in my health issues often making me unable to work for long. Either way, I always have a poetry collection in progress, and at least one story on the go – often more than one. What I work on depends what I’m most inspired to work on. If that means several stories are in the draft phase at once, so be it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My “to be written” list is crazy long. When I’m ready to start a new project, I scroll through it and choose whatever’s most appealing to me.

    My advice to you? Write the pirate story!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wish I had the abundance of ideas you and Staci do – my brain seems to only work on one story at a time. And takes its own sweet time about it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Started out with my notes app, so I wouldn’t forget things. Then I started making some half hearted storyboards. Now I have an ubundance of storyboards in various stages of ready. Took years to get to this point, but it’s nice to have something in the pipeline.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Weekends are my writing time too, although I wasn’t that productive this time around. I have lots of ideas spinning around in my head, but I’m only able to focus on one project at a time. Right now I’d love to rework some of my old shorts into a collection but don’t have the time with the current WIP screaming to get done.

    And I’m with Staci on the pirate story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. P.S. No pictures of the kitten?!?!?!?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’ve juggled two novels before and it’s not worth it, IMO. I will plan one while writing another, though. Such is the case now. An idea for a new series slapped me across the face. We can’t ignore it when that happens, so I set a quick plan in motion and jumped back into my novel. I’m struggling with how to juggle another series on top of my already-tight writing schedule. Love to hear your advice. Do you think three series are too many?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I find that having a few wildly different writing projects at any given time (e.g. Technical memo, poetry translation, blog posts) helps prevent procrastination. Even if I use one project as an excuse to avoid another, at least I am getting something done.
    PS. I believe that the expression is “champing at the bit,” not “chomping.” I had an 8th grade teacher who referred to students chewing gum in class as “chomping at the bit.” It was clear that she was in clear on what the metaphor was.

    Liked by 1 person

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