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  1. Who

    Who Member

    May 11, 2012
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    How do you stay in your groove

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Who, Sep 22, 2014.

    Hello there!

    Right now, I'm kind of annoyed because I have two projects going - my novel and my short story. When I plan on writing my short story, my mind shifts to being more interested in my novel. And vice versa. My question is, how do you stay focused on one project at a time and, if you do have diversions, how do you deal with them?

    Do you go with the diversion and work on the thing you know happens next for the other project? Or do you try to brainstorm for the project you're on and push your way through? Why and how?


    p.s. I meant to add a question mark to the title but submitted too early. I wasn't sure how to edit that, so no grammar police, please!
  2. PensiveQuill

    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

    Jul 15, 2014
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    I don't have a groove. I'm a wildly haphazard and random individual. I believe my work reflects this in many unflattering ways. So I would constantly tangent from one project to another and probably get neither of them done.
  3. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
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    Queens, NY
    You have just stumbled upon the classic "The Grass Is Greener" conundrum, also sometimes expressed as "The Other Project Is Always More Compelling", a corollary to Murphy's Fourth Law: The other line moves faster.

    It's a matter of self-discipline. Aspiring writers often love to ascribe an element of MAGIC to the writing process, but it's really a matter of work and discipline. Pick the project that you deem to be more important (based on your own predetermined criteria), then put the other in a box and go. If, even after this, you find yourself hopelessly torn, take a deep breath and make sure you're not simply procrastinating. Writing, whether short stories or novels, involves planning and decision-making, either of which can be difficult at times.

    Good luck.
    minstrel and peachalulu like this.
  4. Jaro

    Jaro Active Member

    Aug 17, 2014
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    Tulsa, OK
    I get myself into the same situation all the time. I can even be in the middle of writing one story, have an idea for another, and then I need to flesh that idea out at least enough for me to come back to later.
  5. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
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    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Make small goals. I have a cork board over my desk and I'd make up signs to encourage myself - This is the week of the worms of wicher-woo. Which helped me get the Worms of Wicher-Woo done. I also clip up art work and stuff to help me stay jazzed about one project.
    minstrel likes this.
  6. LeighAnn

    LeighAnn Member

    Sep 7, 2013
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    I too have multiple projects on the go, and I love flipping between them, so I set very firm rules for myself. I work on my primary project (which is usually the one my editor is hounding me about) until I have 2500 new words. Those words have to hit the page and stick. Once I've met that goal, I'm allowed to switch projects, but once I switch, I have to write 2500 f9or that project before I'm allowed to flop over to Project #3. This way everything gets done, my editor doesn't kill me, and I'm never left feeling like Project 2 and 3 are forever neglected.
    peachalulu likes this.
  7. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Jul 11, 2010
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    Near Los Angeles
    Isaac Asimov said he enjoyed having several projects on the go at once. He'd write on one of them until he got stuck or bored with it, then pull that paper out of his typewriter, grab the page he left off on another project, roll it in and carry on with that one for a while. There's no reason you can't have several stories going.

    I wish I found it that easy. My writing time is usually pretty fragmented and I have to decide before I sit down which project I'll be working on. Sometimes this is a tough decision! I haven't found a good way of making it yet. I just wing it, I guess.
    Who and peachalulu like this.

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