It basically took me eight months to actually sit down long enough to write this out (sorry again, Rachel)! Anyway, hello followers of my amazing friend, Rachel. I’m Ali from Ali’s Reviews and More, and Rachel asked me, a while ago, to say the least, to write up a guest blog post for her blog. The topic is one that I thought would work well for November because of NaNoWriMo, Working on Multiple Writing Projects at once.
As you can already pretty much guess, I’ve had a lot going on personally, professionally, and writing-wise, and now with the whole world on a lockdown. We are way past writing a novel in November and currently in what feels like the twentieth month of this year, Just Kidding. We are only in July, and it’s finally the perfect time to share this post because of Camp NaNoWriMo month.
Anyway, I really wanted to take the time to sit down and write this out fully. Hence, me writing a rough draft of this post by hand, as is my system of writing anything, but I scraped it all. Instead, I’m just going to jump right in and hope for the best.
Finally, onto the meat of this blog post. Lots of writers go through the haze of wanting to work on a single idea but having multiple shiny new ideas get in the way. They take the time to write down each one and then get back to the one they were working on first.
This, I have found, is not the case for myself. I’ve been working on a book for a few years without really thinking about it, letting the ideas and words pile up in a notebook, all the while working on fleshing out another fully outlined book that was nowhere in the same universe of the side book. At this current time, I’m still working on the plot and little details to said outlined book, while also in the process of editing my side book and writing up the sequel to it. It’s insane, and I feel a bit crazy for doing so. But that’s not even the worst of it. I’ve started work on a fourth book, an idea that has slowly been bleeding into my every waking thought. So much so, that I’ve spent countless hours talking it over with another writing friend to help me to better form the idea and get an actual plot.
With COVID-19, lockdown, losing my job, getting a new one, my own blog, my guest posts, writing for another blog, bookstagram, and trying to make time for writing—I’ve been a mess. But I found that setting up goals and figuring out the answers for two main projects for myself really, really helped. With all of that, I thought I would share some tips from myself and others that I’ve picked up from multiple authors.
Have on you at all times
- sticky notes,
- a pen, and
- a small pocket notebook for ideas.
Set aside time every day or week to go through notes and organize and make some sense of them (and your handwriting).
Have multiple notebooks, one for each story idea (with all notes or sticky notes stuck inside).
Write down a thought, idea, name, and/or scene as soon as it comes into your head—you might tell yourself you’ll remember it for later, but you won’t have that same spark as right in that instant.
Set hard goals for yourself on the most put-together idea or book.
Give yourself time to actually make those goals. I know I give myself a week to two weeks.
Make an insane amount of pinterest boards.
Make a playlist of music that inspires you to write for certain ideas.
Lastly, please, please don’t get burned out. If you’re feeling like you’re hitting a wall, take a step back and try to look at it from another angle, work on something else, or talk out your problems with a friend.
I personally have done each and every one of these things—well, at least in 2020. This was my main goal for the year 2020: I would finish one book fully and write, organize, edit, and send it out for peer review, then finally research which publishing houses and agents to send it to. It’s a lot, and really not even half of what I have already worked on for my side writing project that is so close to being done and ready for editing. Though, I did just sign up for the July Camp NaNoWriMo to get all my editing and organizing done for this side book. I’m hopeful that this will give me the push and drive to finally work in time for this writing project.
Thank you guys so much for reading this far! If you ever want to talk more about writing and want to share some of your own tips, please reach out to Rachel via her blog or me on my own book blog at Ali’s Reviews and More!