Monday, 4 August 2014

50 Shades Of A Plan

No. This isn't about 50 Shades of Grey. I haven't read the books, and have no interest in reading them. Apparently, they fall under the romance category. Err . . .no. Not my idea of romance. Pop over to Maria Zannini's blog and read her witty post on 50 Shades. Well, after you've read my post. You can't escape that easy!

Last week, in Get your inky paws off me, you damn dirty writer, I asked for advice on tackling multiple writing projects and a never-ending stream of story ideas. As usual, everyone who commented left insightful and incredibly helpful comments. A heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you.

What I took away from those comments was that it is okay to be working on multiple projects if that works for me. However, at some point projects need to be completed. Books don't finish themselves, as much as we'd sometimes like them to do. I decided that the best way to keep my interest and finish writing books was to only work on a small number. After much deliberation, I reasoned three was the magic number. 

My plan is to alternate between three projects on a monthly or two-weekly basis, with one project at the front of the queue to be published first. When project number one is published, I add a new one. Number two on the list moves to number one and so on. My hope is by alternating writing projects, I won't get distracted by shiny new ideas.

I hope that makes some kind of sense. 

I even have a coloured chart for the next year, with three shades ...I mean three colours signifying time I'll be spending on each project. The word counts are optimistic, and it's not all writing. There are periods for editing in my plan, and only one project - a science fiction series - will be published between now and next June. The other two will follow later in the year.


So, what do you think? Madness or a workable plan?

28 comments:

  1. Great you have a plan! Three is the magic number. At least, according to Schoolhouse Rock.
    Look forward to your next one since it's science fiction.

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    1. Thanks, Alex! Here's hoping you're right about three being the magic number.

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  2. Absolutely workable. I'm currently balancing two fresh WIPS and a third which is edits for my publishing house. I have a 4th that requires attention (edits for my agent), but she's happy about waiting until one of the others is finished.

    3 is a great number to balance. Good luck!

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    1. You sound incredibly busy, Donna. I'm pleased it is possible to balance so many projects.

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  3. I juggle projects to keep from falling into hate with a book that needs more time - or needs me to step away. Your schedule looks awesome. My schedule right now is a host of revisions... so I'm elbows deep in red ink - looks like a murder scene on these pages.

    Good luck with your plan!

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    1. Ah. Red Ink Syndrome. I know it well. Good luck with your revisions!

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  4. It's a great plan if it works for you but I have a hard time moving from project to project. I like to finish one before moving on. I can't always do that and then I get really stressed.

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    1. It's so easy to get stressed when life takes us away from our writing. All you can do is hang on in there and use every free moment you get to write.

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  5. Hi Ellie - so necessary to have that plan - but also to have more than one project, so boredom and thus blankness doesn't set in. I'm sure it'll work and then hold you in good stead .. good luck and all the best for the process - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. I'm hoping my plan will keep me fresh and inspired.

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  6. And you're color-coding! It can't fail now. At least you'll be well organized whenever you want to switch gears and work on something else. I'm glad you decided to do what would work best for you.

    PS Thanks for the shout-out. :)

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    1. I do like my colour-coded chart. It's on the wall next to my writing desk, so I can't miss it!

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  7. Sounds like a good plan! Sometimes it's good to put one project aside and work on something else. I've never been quite as good at organizing myself.

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    1. I'm trying to be more organised. I'll let you know how it goes!

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  8. You're smart to set a goal and map out a plan you can see. That means you're much more likely to stick to your plan.

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  9. Have you ever come accross a Gant chart. We used them all the time for multiple projects.

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    1. I haven't, Snafu. Google here I come.

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  10. Sure, why not? You seem quite organized and that's half the battle.

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. Fingers crossed this works.

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  11. Timesharing like that sounds like a good plan.

    If you find the lure of shiny new ideas still distracting, you can always adapt your plan and give one of your three slots over to shiny ideas instead of an actual project. That way you get to make progress on two, and not go mad with repressed creativity :)

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    1. I hadn't thought of that, Botanist. Hmm. Maybe a week here or there just for new project development?

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  12. I think it's a great plan, and I definitely think having that color-coded calendar will help. More power to you! I desperately want to write at least two books at once, but when I did it years ago it messed with my brain too much. Let us know how it works out!

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  13. Go for it, Ellie! Whatever you write is going to be great from the stories of yours I've read. Myself, I can only track one book at a time since I have to totally be in the heads of my characters when I write.

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  14. Dang! You got yerself organized! Madness. teehee. I coulnd't go a whole month on one project. It flip flops every day. Yipes!

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    1. You sound worse than me, Southpaw! How do you do it?

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