Managing Three Writing Projects

I’m aware that many writers balance their writing commitments with an energy and enthusiasm which I have temporarily mislaid. For me, any productive writing only takes place 9.30am-1pm with one break for coffee. I prefer to work on one piece of writing at a time.

My current on-going work is the third draft of a novel set in the 1950s, partly set in a Nissen hut. I’m working with the mentor Emma Darwin and we were moving at a pleasant and productive pace, meeting to discuss Emma’s comments and suggestions, until Covid put a stop to that.

A collection of short stories, Tales of Dusty Death, is with a publisher, moving up the ladder of proof reading, marking up the errors, returning the PDF to the printers, another proof to read, and so on. There was the front cover to be designed and re-designed until we were all happy with it; images and typefaces to be agreed for both the front and back. I had already asked for a quote from a previous tutor and he’d kindly supplied a most generous one. Finally, when I was at the point of signing the ‘Pass for Press’ I spotted an easily missed mistake on the back cover so the proof went back to be corrected for the final time.

During this time, my last submission of the draft novel had been with Emma and a marked-up copy returned to me, to sit on my desk as if it were of no importance. My intention for this morning, with the ‘Pass for ‘Press’ for the short stories posted to the publisher plus the happy confirmation that the book was already on the way to the printer, was to take myself back to the novel, and GET ON. Until I received an email from a London University, asking if they could have the PDF of my memoir The Baby Box to review. A great boost to my day as that would renew interest in the book. My reply was ‘of course they could have the PDF plus a photo of the cover. But where was the PDF? Did I still have one? Yes, comfortably resting on a memory stick.

Once found and emailed to the appropriate person, I began writing this blog. After that it would be total concentration on the story of life in the 1950s. Then the phone rang. Would we like to go to Devon with our son and family for a few days? Of course we would. My husband’s comment was, ‘I suppose you’ll take some work with you?’ I will, but as during the summer holidays, it will probably stay in my briefcase. Family takes precedence.

2 thoughts on “Managing Three Writing Projects

  1. judehayland says:

    Family ALWAYS takes precedence! I know exactly what you mean – but there’s an order to priority and family – who are always there, however we behave, have to come first. Writing in second place.
    I so agree that I find it difficult to work on more than one writing project at a time. How DO people work on short stories at the same time as writing a novel? I can’t split my imaginative creative side sufficiently for that!


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