Balls in the Air

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Okay, now that I have your attention.

Calm down, it’s nothing salacious in the least.  If you were wishing for salacious, I apologize.  At the same time, however, I don’t want to let you down, so here goes: Miley Cyrus, penis, boobs, porn.  How was that?

Now, on to matters at hand.

As a writer, I tend to have several projects going at the same time.  This is usually very frustrating.  Inspiring, too, because it means I’m actually getting things written.  Granted, these aren’t finished projects, but they are projects nonetheless.  The only problem I have is deciding which ones take priority.

So, writers, how do you go about figuring out which projects deserve your utmost attention?

I have three short stories going at the moment.  I’m happy to admit that I’m enjoying all three of them equally (usually I tend to favor one over the other, but this is not a set of children, these are stories we’re talking about here!).  The problem is I’m not sure which I should favor more.  Why?  Frankly, I’d like to get something accomplished for heaven’s sake!  I’m all about perfection, but I’m also all about submitting.  If I work on all three here and there, we’re looking at weeks, maybe months before I get them done.

This doesn’t include the novel I’m working on, or the dozen other Beginners I have stashed in my writing file (Beginners are those stories, you know the ones: an opening line, maybe a paragraph, a fantabulicious idea you simply can’t forget about?!?).

So, again, I ask for your advice.  How does it work for you?  Do you start one project and trudge through until you’re done?  Do you carve away at several stories at once without any anxiety over which needs more of your attention (and if you are this person, I hate you already…okay, not really, but still!).  Do you not care in the slightest and just work on whatever you damn well please?

Thoughts, people, I need your thoughts!!!  

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6 thoughts on “Balls in the Air

    Tom Orchard-Webb said:
    April 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I like to have lots of stories on the go at the same time. If I get stuck on one, I can bail out for a while, work on something else, and come back to it when I’m older and wiser. The story I focus on at any given time is usually the one that is least resisting my efforts to write it.

      seanpfarley responded:
      April 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks, Tom! I appreciate your feedback. I like your perspective.

    Julie Frayn said:
    April 30, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    If I’m writing a novel, I tend to focus on that. But if I lose focus, I write a short story or two to clear my head then dive back in. I did three Nanos in a row (camp/november/camp) and ended up with three WIPs at once. I nearly pulled my hair out trying to figure out which to do first. Won’t do that again… One is published, the other will be in May, and then I move my attentions to the third.

    And if you ever want to focus because you absolutely have no choice? I suggest the NYC Midnight short story competition next year. It’s fantastic.

      seanpfarley responded:
      April 30, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      YES! Thanks, Julie. You always offer good advice. Thanks for chiming in. Always appreciated. I have to give that NYC Midnight short story competition a look-see.

    Alina Oswald said:
    May 2, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Hi Sean, so two confessions here, I can’t sleep tonight, and I don’t write fiction. Not anymore anyway. But nonetheless, for me, dadlines take priority. When I wrote the book, it took me bout six years to finish. First draft took a few months, but I rewrote it tens of times. Anyway, I truly believe in deadlines. No deadline, no finished project. I have ideas for new writing and photos, but they are all on/off projects because I’m yet to set deadlines. But now thanks to your post, I’ll take them more seriously. So try to give yourself deadlines, and try to keep them, too. I’m not too fond of multitasking, but pick one story and finish it, and then move on to the second, and so on. Or plan on working on story #1 on one day of the week, etc. I’m sure you will finish the stories and get them published, too. Can’t wait to read them 🙂

    Great post, as always!

    jballam said:
    May 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Sean, you and I seem to have the same dilemma. I have three novels in the works in various stages. I needed motivation to get back in the saddle and joined a writers’ group. I decided the first story I’d bring to share would be the first that came to mind, and wouldn’t you know it, it would have to be the more complex one! Damn. But, it got me working on it again, and it all seems to be coming together. Just let the story talk to you, it will tell you if it needs to be worked on, like the comment above, it’s going to be the one that gives you the least resistance.

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