Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite




I’ve often wondered how everyone else comes up with their blog chain topic. As for me, it usually falls into the category of what’s foremost on my mind. With that being said, here's the question:




Do you focus on one project at a time, or do you have many irons in the fire at any given moment?



When I was working on my first MS, it was my sole focus. I didn’t worry about query letters, or writing a synopsis, or plotting out any other work. I finished it at 95,000 words. I had big plans to work on the second book, and even have a folder with notes for it and a third also. All relating to the first MS. Then I started revisions. Being my first work, it wasn’t really revisions, but a complete rewrite of the first half. Saying it was bad is an understatement. It was awful, the writing that is.




I got very frustrated, and I had many people suggest I start on another project and go back to revisions after a break.

So I wrote a few short stories that I was lucky enough to get published. I plotted and started on several new works. I have never been back to visit my original MS. Not once. I have started referring to it as “my sock drawer book” (thanks Don). The only problem is this…I can’t seem to stick with one idea long enough to make any headway.





I guess the reason for the question is to get different perspectives. I do know a few of the chain gang are always multitasking. I’m trying to find my way back from too long off, and am looking for suggestions with this question that can help steer me in the right direction (rather selfish way to come up with a topic, huh?).






I’m the first in this go around, but be sure you visit Sandra ( http://ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com/ ), who’s up next.

18 comments:

Michelle McLean said...

Ahhh, good question :) I also have about 4 novels that I only made it about 3 chapters in to. I would like to go back and finish them one of these days. For me, it just took finding a project I really fell in love with. And it took four false starts to get there. When the right project comes along, you'll know it. Until then, just keep writing. If nothing else, you'll be honing your skills and maybe working on partials of future projects :)

christinefonseca said...

OOhhhh - great question. You know I have been thinking about this kind of thing for a while! I don't really see anything wrong with multi-taskng - but then again, I can see why it is problematic. Hmmm...now I need to stew on it for a while.

Cole Gibsen said...

This is a great question. I know that it works differently for everyone but I like to work on a couple of things at once. Somedays the voices in my head have to duke it out and I never know who is going to win. Hee

Sarah Bromley said...

Excellent question. I'm another one who has multiple projects going at once, all in varying stages. I'll expound more when it's my turn to post.

B.J. Anderson said...

Love this topic! I'll go into more details on my turn to post, but I usually get one project close to completion while another one (or two or three) is percolating in my head.

Sandra said...

Love the graphics, Terri!

There's nothing wrong with leaving your first novel in the sock drawer if you don't want to return to it. Even if you never touch it again, I'm sure you learned a lot from working on it.

Is it possible that perhaps you're naturally a short story writer instead of a novel writer? Although I've written both, I prefer novels. Maybe you're better at plotting short stories instead of novels. You have to go with what works for you.

Mandy said...

I'm a one topic at a time writer all the way! I guess I'm afraid I'll confuse the narrative voice if I bounce back and forth. Although I suppose once you're agented you revise one project while working on another, so it might be something to practice, just in case! ;)

Rebecca Knight said...

Hahahah, that "writing: you're doing it wrong" made me snicker out loud!

I try to have at least one other thing going on, but I'm a procrastinator and have to force myself not to work on the less pressing thing.

Annie Louden said...

I am always asking writers this question, usually followed by, "But how do you keep TRACK of everything?"
I hope to learn some tips this chain!

Mrs4444 said...

In all things, I always have about 100 irons in the fire. It's crazy, really.

Kat Harris said...

Great question, Terri!

I'm so glad you're back on the chain. Don't sweat that first story. It will come with time. (Unfortunately, there's never enough of that either.)

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Great post and what a question. I don't multitask with my writing. I try to do one project at a time, otherwise I wouldn't be able to keep the characters or the stories straight. Same as reading. I can only read one book at a time. Have to give my full concentration to what currently doing. When I was younger - could split my time many ways and multitask. As I get older, it's become more difficult. Need lists to remember what need to do.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Great question! I have sooo many started and never finished novels - some of them dating all the way back to high school! I think some of what makes it possible to finish is just plain old discipline, but I also think that the central idea of the story needs enough meat to keep the writer writing it.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

This was a great question, Terri. What an awesome way to start the chain. I have more than one book in the sock drawer (or under the bed). Sometimes the best thing to do is just finish, even if you never go anywhere with it :).

Lisa Gioia-Acres said...

Do you focus on one project at a time, or do you have many irons in the fire at any given moment?

The bad thing about being ADHD (which of course was not a diagnosis when I was young, I was just called a "spaz.") is that I hardly ever finish anything. The great thing about ADHD is I always looks so busy!

The reason I'm not more of an accomplished writer is I have no sincere discipline. I fear the book inside will never see the light of day.

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