The Multiplicity of WIPs

I am constitutionally incapable of working on one project at a time. My mind is built for multitasking. I get bored if I do any one thing for any length of time—even things I normally enjoy. And when I’m bored, I procrastinate in any of a million and a half different ways.

So, I never just have one work in progress.

Currently, I have one ultra-short story written but not revised, one short story about half finished, one novel in extensive revisions, and two probable novels each a chapter or so in. I’ve worked on all of them actively within the past two weeks.

Now, five WIPs at a time is a bit much even for me. I can’t keep up with that many at once and actually make any progress. I’m probably going to drop the short story for now, since it doesn’t really fit the original idea any more (it was an anthology target), and the ultra-short can sit a while longer, since it’s also for an anthology but the deadline is some time off.

That leaves the three novels. I can’t really choose between the latter two, because ideas and scenes keep popping into my head for both of them. The revision is more restructuring and editing than actual writing, so that gives me two writing projects and one editing project.

That, I think I can handle. I have at least a dozen other ideas noted or stories started, some of which have been sitting for a while now, but they can continue to sit until one of these projects is done. I never turn away inspiration, so if something hits me on one of those, I’ll open it up, but I won’t make an effort toward them.

In short, I need to find a happy medium between bored and scattered. That should probably be my writing goal for 2011: get in the habit of maintaining a WIP list long enough to keep me interested, but short enough to keep me focused.

Hey, it’s something. 🙂

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