Are you a monogamous writer? You get up every morning and all you can think about is the one novel, the one poem, the one essay you’re trying to write to the exclusion of all else. If a news item sparks a what if scenario, or a fascinating character comes to you in a dream, or you take a trip and fall in love with a particular setting, you shove those ideas aside and focus on your one true love.
But what if you’re missing out by keeping those blinders on? Just for fun, let’s look at what you might gain by giving promiscuous writing a try.
You May Improve Your Productivity
While you might think concentrating on a single project would result in higher productivity, the opposite is often true. You put so much pressure on your solo manuscript that you become burned out or disengaged. Roadblocks appear. You get stuck. You beat yourself up for not being more productive when maybe all you need is the welcome respite which could come from a side adventure. By working on two or more projects at the same time, you might actually find your writing output is enhanced and your attitude improves.
You Might Boost Your Creativity
By shifting between projects, many writers find their creative juices flowing again as they explore different ideas, varied genres, or polar opposite themes. Or they may experience cross-pollination as one scenario in the first story sparks an idea for a related scene in another. By continually being open to new ideas, all your projects may benefit from the fact your creative brain is engaged for longer stretches of time.
Use and Develop Different Muscles
One of your projects may be in the research phase, while the other requires you to hone your dialogue skills. By switching between modalities depending on the needs of your stories, you won’t over-extend one set of writing muscles, but can instead exercise them to the max, then take a break, and switch over to another set of skills. When you return to your first manuscript, you’ll be refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
You Can Learn Better Time Management
Ever discover that you are more efficient when you’re juggling more than one project, because you quickly learn to eliminate downtime and discover ways to manage your time to achieve maximum productivity? Writing more than one story at a time works the same way. You’ll have no time for writer’s block—if you get stymied on one narrative, simply switch to the other. Set yourself guidelines for when you’ll work on what and stick to them, whether it’s one project every other day, or one in the morning and another one on the weekends.
You Can Double Your Income Streams
I’m not the only author who’s looked to Ashley Winstead for inspiration when it comes to multi-tasking. She released four books – two suspense thrillers and two rom-coms – between August 2021 and May 2023, and all have been best-sellers. If you’d like to write more than one type of book, give it a try. It may require some deft marketing skills to make sure you connect with the right audience, but it can be done. Who knows? You may find yourself discovering a new style of writing or genre you might otherwise have missed. Always wanted to attempt a cozy mystery? Why not try it? Better still, when one book is not selling well, another may prove popular, allowing you sufficient income to keep your career going.
Some may say a promiscuous writing style will never work. They’ll say you’ll get distracted, you’ll find yourself chasing the latest bright shiny object, never completing what you start. And those are certainly valid points. But if you discipline yourself, stick to a schedule, and embrace the positives that can grow from a more flexible writing regime, you just might find yourself with even more creative energy while doubling your output. What have you got to lose?
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