So, I’m finally winding down work on the 1950s novel I have posting about here for eons. I have one more round of revisions to make, and then my plan is to send it to my agent before I leave for a writers’ retreat in August (by the way, someone remind me to blog about that retreat, will you?). And after that, of course, there will be at least one more round of revisions based on my agent’s always-helpful notes on the draft. So, “winding down” might be kind of a strong term; “no longer panicking desperately over the first few rounds of scribbled drafts” is probably more accurate.
But in any case, I recently sent out the draft of the 1950s book to some beta readers, and decided to work on my next project, aka the Shiny New Idea, while I waited for their feedback. So I spent a week outlining the SNI, and then last week, I settled down to start writing the draft.
I did not think this would be a big deal. After all, “real” writers seem to have multiple projects going at once all the time.
But I think real writers must have more space in their brains than I do, or something. Because I constantly feel like mine is about to explode now.
Everything is doubled. Ideas that float into my head when I’m trying to fall asleep, demanding that I get out my phone and email them to myself before they float away for good? Yes, yes, I’m used to that, but now it’s happening twice as often. Constant nagging worry that I’m not working hard enough, that I shouldn’t be reading that book or watching that show or looking at those pics of Kate and Wills? Yes, only twice with the constancy. Oh, and you know what else is doubled, is that pain in my wrist that all writers know so well. Fun times.
Not to mention that I now have two very different books to keep straight in my head. One of which I’ve been writing for many months and know very well, and one of which I’m still getting to know. Also, one book has a main character named Linda and the other has a main character named Lily, and so obviously I’m always typing the wrong name into the wrong document.
But aside from that, the two books are very, very different, which is probably contributing to my insanity. One is contemporary, the other historical. One is paranormal, the other realistic. The main characters of both are LGBT, but in one book that’s just another fact of their lives, and in the other, it’s catastrophic. One book is very wholesome, with plot points revolving around singing hymns and begging to be allowed to wear lipstick. The other is, I can safely say, the first YA I have ever written that includes the use of a certain descriptive term for female anatomy that I am not going to use here lest my Google traffic take an abrupt left turn.
And, since I’ll still have at least one more round of revisions left on the 1950s book after this one, my two-timingness isn’t going to go away anytime soon. So I guess my options are to either embrace the insanity and spend my days writing Linda/Lily fanfiction, or figure out how to work on two projects at once without losing it completely.
So, any tips, from those who have traveled the two-or-more-projects-at-once road before me?