Looking back at when I first started writing, all I wanted to do was finish this ‘first’ book and then everything would work out.
Of course that’s not how it works, is it? It’s a hard slog to turn a good idea into a worthy manuscript and it’s definitely a lesson in patience to search for the publisher or agent that is as passionate about your story as you are.
Patience is not my forte (though I’m pretty good at faking it now), but story telling is. It was when I needed some time away from that ‘first’ book that I discovered how much fun it is to play with multiple projects.
It means that throughout the whole process of redrafting, editing and submitting I can also make progress on other projects. Sometimes I’ve wanted to try a different style or genre but usually I’m swept away by a morsel of a story that won’t let me go until I write it.
Now, I try to make sure every first draft I work on has at least three months to sit in a drawer. (It’s usually more like six months.) It gives me a time out to develop the perspective and motivation I’ll need when it’s time to edit. But also, it’s because I enjoy flipping between different worlds and characters, and changing pace between scribbling out first drafts and glaring at the computer screen during my many rounds of edits.
I’m really excited to have multiple projects, especially now that two of those manuscripts are drawing closer to their final round edits. On good days, just having so many stories makes me more creative and motivated. And on the bad days, having those half-finished or unedited manuscripts reminds me that I’ve been through the process before and I can do it again.