How many books do you write at once?

I’ve seen a lot of my friends (and idols) on Twitter lately, writing about how they write.

Their process, their methods. I love reading about it, to see how people do stuff differently. I try not to get to caught up in it all, I know I have my own way, but it’s difficult to not think “Oh! I should do that” when I see those posts.

I’m not gonna go on too much about it, people write differently, and every method works (I’m pretty sure.) Me, I’m a hybrid between a plotter and a pantser (or discovery writer as I’m used to calling it). Meaning I plot some, then just roll with it.

Anyway – different methods aside, there’s another part of how writers write which I don’t feel like I see too much of. How do you like… write?

For some reason, all the stories I’ve planned to write, are laid out in my head linearly. Imagine a conveyor belt of stories. No. 1 comes first, then no. 2, and so on. I imagine other people also have many stories running in their head, or on paper, at the same time, but just pick and choose between what they want/feel like writing. But me, I can’t start no. 3 until no. 2 is finished.

Or so I thought.

I hired a new editor last year, to help me do some changes to my first book, which has been out for a little while (but that’s another story). Point is, much of my time’s been going into that. At the same time, I finished the first draft for book 2. The next thing on my to-do-list is to do a bunch of rewrites for this book, before I can go on to the nitty-gritty editing of it. At the same time, book no. 3, 4, and 5, plus some other things are lined up waiting to be created.

But I felt like I couldn’t begin. I’m a very systematic and organized guy (I tell myself). I can’t start something without finishing something else. So even though I’m redoing some work on book 1, and working on book 2, that’s it. I couldn’t possibly start book 3.

But then I did.

Editing is boring. Soooo boring. Often. at least. To me, writing feels like creating, while editing feels like destruction. Of course it’s nice to see it all come together, to become better and make sense. But working on rewriting and editing two books, I’d forgotten how fun it is to just jump into writing a book. Just go, without any worry about “is this word good here, does this sentence make sense?” Simply writing, is so freeing.

There was a point I was going to make with this, and I think it was this: I wonder how other writers do this part of writing? Not outlining or pantsing, but organizing your stories. How many things do you work on at the same time, do you have set rules, or just do whatever you feel like?

 

In the end, I suppose the most important thing is to just keep writing.

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