Last week was a busy one for me, and fairly typical in terms of my writing life. I worked on two novels and a nonfiction project and looked for future projects. Here’s how it broke down:
Monday: Finished revisions to the sequel to Deadtown and sent that in to my editor at Ace. Revising that manuscript overlapped with reviewing Deadtown‘s page proofs, so I turned to that review next. I also got (and answered) an email from a nonfiction editor asking when I’d be submitting updates to an ongoing project.
Tuesday: I spent most of the day finishing my review of page proofs for Deadtown. I compiled a list of corrections and sent those in. A friend wrote to confirm our upcoming interview on her podcast about women mystery writers.
Wednesday: Today I turned to my current nonfiction project, working on updates to a user guide for an online database service. I also wrote back to confirm the podcast interview and tossed around some ideas about what we might discuss.
Thursday: More work on the database project. I wrote to my agent asking whether she had any thoughts about future nonfiction projects. I also got a heads up from a nonfiction editor that copyedits would be arriving soon for a project I handed in a few weeks back.
Friday: Kept going on the database project. I also emailed several nonfiction editors I’ve worked with in the past to follow up on existing proposals and/or discuss possible future projects. Jotted down some notes with ideas for the next Deadtown book and other possible fiction projects.
As you can see, I do a lot of juggling. It can be hard to switch between fiction and nonfiction–and I’d let myself get a bit spoiled because I had a chance to work on fiction exclusively for a few weeks while I was revising the Deadtown sequel. But to make a full-time living at writing, I’ve had to learn how to be a good juggler. It’s not unusual for me to have two or three projects going simultaneously. When that happens, I usually devote the morning to one project, spend the afternoon on another, and then work on fiction in the evening–with necessary time adjustments as deadlines approach.
Switching among projects can be crazy-making, but it also keeps things interesting. It’s hard to get bored with a project when you have several others clamoring for your attention.