It’s only the third day of the year, and I’ve already done something I’m probably going to regret.
I’m not going to talk too much about my writing goals for the year again. I know you’re probably already tired of hearing about them. To keep it simple, I’m planning on finishing two books and a whole lot of novellas, in addition to other blogging and writing commitments.
It’s a lot to do. I’m going to have a blast, but that doesn’t mean I have less work to do. There are only so many hours in a day, especially when you plan on spending the majority of them reading and writing. Time goes by way too fast when you’re in your element.
If I want to get all this writing done, I’m going to need to figure out how to balance multiple writing projects at once. I already, mostly, have. I’ve come up with a basic plan for how I’m going to get it all done without losing too much sleep or neglecting other adult-y responsibilities.
Here are my tips for juggling multiple writing projects at once, if you’re worried about how you’re going to do that this year.
Prioritize by deadline
First things first. If you have something due in a week or even in a month, and a few things that don’t have a set deadline, put more time and effort into the project that has the deadline. This doesn’t mean you need to ignore your other projects (we’ll get to that in a minute). It does mean, at first, you’re going to have to focus more on one project than the others if you’re going to keep up.
This will really help you kick your procrastination habit. It’s not a good habit, even if you work better under pressure. Writing is hard, but it doesn’t need to be any more stressful than it already is.
Decide how you want to divide up your time
Instead of spending all your time on writing just one thing, working on multiple projects at once, whether you’re freelancing or schooling or just writing for fun, you’re going to have to train yourself to spend specific intervals of time on different projects. Doing this helps you focus on just one thing for a little while before moving on to something else, so that even though you might be working on five different things, each gets the amount of attention it needs.
Maybe on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you can focus on one larger writing project, like your novel, and dedicate Thursday and Friday to editing or other freelance writing. Spend your Saturdays pitching ideas and, yes, you have permission to do this, take Sunday off. You deserve it.
When you can, write whenever inspiration hits
Sometimes we experience random sparks of inspiration that only last a little while. These bundles of brain rush only seem more random and difficult to navigate when you’re working on multiple things at once. You could be in the middle of writing a paper for school or an email for work and suddenly get an idea for the next scene of your novel without warning.
Make these sparks last as long as you can. Jot that idea down or write a few paragraphs, and then – no, we’re not kidding – click away. Go work on something else. It turns out that inspiration can and will carry over not only to other projects, but will also probably still be there when you’ve finished all your other work and have time to go back to the work your inspiration started from.
That, Noveltiers, is how to get stuff done, no matter how much stuff you have to do. Or a few examples of how to get organized, at least.
Happy writing! I’m off to start on my first novella. Weeeeeeeeee.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.