My journey to publish 100 books has, thus far, meant a lot of juggling. For the past now five months I’ve been working on 5+ projects simultaneously.
My brain works that way and thrive with the juggle. But coming off a week where I feel like I didn’t make enough positive progress on books — instead watching lots of the time I have available to work on this endeavor going to side tasks — I find myself at the inevitable moment of re-evaluating my approach and wondering if I should try to pare down.
The pros of working on one project at a time:
- Get that project to the finish line faster.
- By focusing only on that project during my book time, I can make sure I’m giving it as much of my mental bandwidth as possible.
- That project will be on my mind all the time, meaning inspiration can strike outside of my allotted work time.
- Arguably less risk of burnout.
- Arguably more sustainable.
- Less context switching.
The cons of working on one project at a time:
- I derive energy from switching up what I work on; I run out of gas for the night much later when I’m switching things up.
- It’s hard working on the same thing that uses the exact same parts of the brain; I can likely get better overall results jumping around.
- Working on multiple projects means I can stack repetitive tasks and avoid having to re-learn processes.
- I compartmentalize a lot of the projects (for instance, I only work on my next novel right now when I’m dictating on walks) so the context switching isn’t that hard.
- Moving lots of projects along slowly but steadily keeps the pipeline filled with “almost ready” books.
The decision I reached was to move to a somewhat more focused approach. While I’ll continue doing my triggered writing streaks (e.g., in bed at night, on walks) on different books, I’m spending my ~1 hour a day of time at my computer on the same project until it’s finished.
This week I’m focusing on finishing my children’s book. It took me a long time to crack the ending. Now that I have, I’m working through writing the rhymes. Turns out epic poetry takes a while.
Call that another lesson learned.
To follow along with my day-to-day progress, check the Work Log.