The Juggling Act

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I’ve reached that glorious state in my writing career when I have more than one literary project active at the same time. It’s exciting and empowering. My motivation level is way up on the “Can’t wait to share with my readers” scale. It’s a very positive situation to be in, BUT there is a downside. How can I get everything done on time without going crazy?

The Projects:

Pariah

My 104k word urban fantasy, Pariah, is back from my editor.  It’s almost impossible to see the white of the page through all the red ink. Seriously, she did a fantastic job. Who knew I was clumsily misplacing those slippery modifiers?

Pariah_ECover

My target goal is for an early Fall release. This is an Indie Pub effort, so I have to coordinate with book formatters, designers, distributors, printers and book tour folks. They are all waiting for me to complete my final edits. No pressure!

Son of Lions

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you’ll have heard laments of my ruined epic fantasy. Poor advice and a lack of self-trust sunk my rubber ducky on the first manuscript. Fast forward six years to find me rolling up my sleeves for another go.  I love this story. It’s very near to my heart. Frankly, I’ve invested too much time and emotion into this nine book series (all in draft form) to abandon it to frustration.

My target goal: Complete a workable draft of the first book to send for review by Spring 2015.

Marketing: The never ending project

This is ongoing. It’s never a good idea to completely ignore your published book babies.

Phantom HarvestCOVERLostMansParish_Cover

 

Phantom Harvest and Lost Man’s Parish

The Plan:

I took a revisions workshop at the last Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference. It was given by Colorado Author, Cindi Meyers (Check out her books). In my opinion, Cindi is the foremost expert on juggling literary projects.  Okay, she may have a little competition from James Patterson.  Visit her site and you will see how many wonderful books she has out there. During the class, Cindi described how she managed her time editing one book and writing the draft of another – sometimes ON THE SAME DAY. Respect!

In my day job as a program manager, I’m expected to juggle many projects, tasks and pieces of information each day. Unfortunately, I have not been able to master this ability with my own creative projects. YET. I’m not going to beat myself up. Instead, I’m going to play to my strengths.  One skill set I’ve developed is the ability to completely focus on a project. No distractions. How do I use this to my advantage when I’m juggling several literary projects? Planning. My brain has to focus on one story at a time. I determine how long a task (Final edits on Pariah for instance) will take me. I schedule this for “X” amount of days/weeks/months. When I know the date I’ll finish, I schedule another project to start on that date.

Project 1 (Begin Date and End Date). Project 2 (Begins on the End Date of Project 1 and End Date).

If I can manage to overlap projects, while still doing a quality job, then I go for it.

Final Thoughts: This plan works for me. It might not work for you. Each of us has to determine how we work best. Above all else, we cannot forget to enjoy the journey.

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