Some writers I know only work on one book at a time. Others work on several diverse projects, such as a book, a poem, an article, which helps them keep things seperate. Still others juggle multiple projects of the same nature. I'm doing the latter now, with three book projects, two others working on the old back burner, and several on my to do list. Friends sometimes ask how this is possible, and I'm not sure I know exactly, but I'll give what I believe is the correct answer for my work.

One of my books is under contract right now. That is the New York State book for History Press and as such, it receives first priority. I know I have to do a predetermined amount of work each week, or even I feel guilty. The second book is a local man's biography. I have a verbal agreement of sorts with his wife, but no contract and no deadline. It would be easy to shirk on that one, but I am responsible and finally found the key to unlock the story. I give that project one day per week right now. It may get more as other projects subside and the biography begins to gather speed. The third book project is for the Crossroads series. These books are written, under contract and have deadlines, but are currently in the publisher's hands. When edits come in, it will be at the top of the list. In the meantime, I have a bibliography to work on right away.  I expect the bibliography to be finished in two or three days. The back burner projects are additional books in the Breadline Blue series and many other stories and books on my list that I would like to work on when I have time.

The issue of time is important. If you're serious about being a storyteller or an author, you fill empty work allotted time with creating something new. That's what self-employed people do. Work time is work time, not shopping or sports or computer game time. Do make sure you schedule some "play" time and some self-maintenance time each week..

So in a nutshell, this is how you work on multiple projects, stay on task, meet deadlines, and still manage to create something. When a project is hot, such as the New York State book and the upcoming edits for Crossroads, many other things in life must take a backseat. I do very little, if any socializing at these times. However, the terrible experiences of the past three years has taught me how important health and relationships are. They do get some of my time also. Writing is my work, the rest is living. Always remember to do some living.
 


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