The Effects of Multitasking on the Amateur Writer

It’s been a bit of a writing adventure lately. I have one very long (okay, massive) fiction piece that I’ve been working (and reworking) on for a long, long time. It occurred to me that this may not be the best ever first pitch to a publishing company. I mean, that’s a huge commitment for a company to make on someone who isn’t brilliantly established. Naturally, we all dream of being J.K. Rowling, but let’s get real here.

So I pondered….

and I pondered…

and pondered some more…




and I came up with a possible solution: I’ll do a different novel to start. One that’s stand alone for one, and “chick lit” (to be crass) for another. It’s a much larger industry, which doesn’t make it easier to get published, exactly (if only), but in theory it might be easier to pick out the market and sell myself. Besides, it could be fun. So, I got started. To make myself happy, I’m playing with classic literature, classic films, and outright snarkiness. Write the books you’d like to read, they always say, so I’m going to try. The challenge: I read suspense and mysteries. People die. They seldom marry. Men may or may not be debonair. So, I’ve been reading more in the genre, to get a feel for it, and that helps, some.

Beware women who read- they may also think.

In the middle of that process, I found, courtesy of a dear friend, a contest that could be an awesome opportunity. It’s for shorter pieces than I’m used to, but it’s worth a try. The worst thing that can happen is it doesn’t get published and I have something I can expand and try to publish myself. It’s in a booming section of the publishing industry, so maybe I’ll have a little luck.

Thus, I have stories stacked to the ceiling in my head. Characters floating around, arguing for attention. Having a new story (not to mention a deadline) gives me great ideas for the other pieces. No doubt when I finish this and submit it, then move on to one of the others, I will have brilliant ideas for this piece.

A friend and excellent (not to mention successfully published) writer has advised that writing two books at the same time can be helpful, especially if one is darker and the other lighter. It’s a good theory, because it does block full writer’s block. But the focus issue… and that deadline.

So, I continue, trying to piece together the shorter story, desperately trying to get it completed under the deadline and praying something amazing happens.