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GYWD #8: Juggling Multiple Projects

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Are you sitting on a work in progress that has been on your desk for a long time? Do you find yourself starting new writing projects before you’ve finished the current project? We all have trouble finishing our writing sometimes.

Writing is hard, and it’s a lot easier to start things than to finish them. But there are a host of challenges specific to finishing a piece of writing. Today we’re going to talk about some of the most common finishing struggles, why they occur, and what you can do about them.


The 12 Week Year for Writers
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Welcome to the Get your writing done podcast. I’m Trevor Thrall, author of the 12 week year for writers. There are two kinds of people in the world. The first kind are those folks who are always working on exactly one project at a time, giving it their full and undivided attention. And then there are writers.

I’m not sure exactly what it is. But it seems like the overwhelming majority of writers, both fiction and nonfiction tend to be juggling more than one project at a time. From an execution and productivity standpoint, this is not optimal. But no matter how many times you tell a writer not to juggle, they just keep juggling. So today, I want to remind you one last time to keep the juggling to adult roar. But mostly, I want to provide you with some tools to make things more manageable when you’re dealing with multiple projects at once.

All right, today we’re talking about how to manage multiple projects. The first thing I’m going to tell you about managing multiple project is don’t do it to terrible idea, you should never do it avoided all costs. So today, what I’ll do is I’ll spend a few minutes talking about why it’s such a bad idea to try to juggle multiple writing projects at once. And then knowing that some of you are going to disobey and go ahead and do it anyway. or half to depending on you know, your job and your situation, then I’ll kind of offer some strategies for juggling as effectively as one can.

You know, I’ve talked about this before. And I mentioned in the book, now managing multiple writing projects is, you know, unfortunately, part of my daily life has been for the last two decades. And so you know, it can be done. But I’ll be the first to admit it is not necessarily the most pleasant way to get your writing done. It’s not as pleasant when you feel pressure from multiple sides at once, as it is when you’re just able to commit and focus on one, you know, happy favorite project at a time.

So it’s not it’s not the most fun, and it’s certainly not the most effective. If you’re if you’re looking to be effective and efficient. Sort of on a day by day basis. It’s not it would not be my suggestion for how to how to do that. But all that said, let’s, let’s dig in and talk about this. So multiple projects, right? multitasking has been a big debate for a long time, you know, we talk about multitasking all the time. And we sometimes think we’re awesome at multitasking, I’m handling the phones, I’m handling my email, I’m you know, writing notes and telling people

Hey, you know, it often feels like multitasking is just a thing that we all do. And sometimes we apply it to our writing, right? That really that multitasking is, is a, I think a completely different beast. And in fact, I think a lot of the research now shows that when you think you’re getting a lot done and you’re multitasking, you’re actually not particularly efficient. Number one, and number two people actually multitask a lot less than they think they do.

The human brain cannot actually really do two things at once. So what we think of is multitasking is really doing one thing, and then very close to there after doing a second thing and then going back to the first thing and then do it right. So it’s serial, you know, management of multiple tasks. And as it turns out, that’s just a very bad way in general to get things done efficiently and productively. Because when you’re handling many, you don’t give very much focus to anything, right.

So managing multiple writing projects suffers from many of the same challenges that multitasking in kind of an office or desk top scenario does right and so let me just list five really good reasons why managing multiple projects is a bad idea. And the first is and I know all this is gonna sound familiar to all of you. So I’m sort of just preaching to the choir for a minute here. The first is pretty obvious, just lack of a follow through when you have a whole bunch of projects to do, it’s really easy not to follow through on the next thing you need to do for each of those projects. It’s easy to forget there’s too many things to do things get out of you, they get out of you sort of lose track and and you just don’t have enough energy to get all that done all the time.

And so you lack a follow through sort of rises. Um, it’s also hard to do things with high quality when you have multiple things to do. It’s hard right I mean, I think we all know that feeling of juggling things and you’re because of time pressures and because of you know, maybe your Working with others, and the need to turn things around or hit deadlines on multiple fronts, you never feel like you can quite give each project the full time and effort it would need to be done with the highest possible quality that you could muster. So it’s easy to fall behind on stuff, it’s also really hard to do high quality work.

Just from a logistical standpoint, too. And this is something I have found. And I think anyone who writes on multiple projects during a week will will find this familiar. And that is I think of it as switching costs, the more projects you have in your life ongoing at one time, the higher your switching costs, the cost of switching from having your brain in one thing, and then having to unplug and then reorient to the new project, find all your stuff, get in the right headspace, get productive on that new thing up time for the next project, unplug.

Do that all again. And the more often you have to do that for the more and for the more projects that you have, you know, it just gets, it’s just it’s an inefficient drain on your brain takes a while to get started, every session is not as productive. When you have to figure out where am I going? What am I doing? Right. And I often, you know, use the example like imagine you’re sort of, you know, writing a horror story in the morning, and then you’re writing a romance novel in the afternoon, you’re gonna get your characters confused, you’re gonna have your mindset confused, your language is going to be all on a roll in one kind of way.

And then the language is just going to be difficult to to do as good a job in the afternoon on the romance novel, because your head is probably in the horror story, right? And so switching costs can be very problematic. Also, just from a simple physical standpoint, logistical headaches, kind of multiply when we have a lot of things going on. I know we all have the same kind of digital, you know, administration night headaches, you know, where is what folders this? And what’s the name of this draft? Well, you know, multiply that by a bunch of by a bunch of different projects.

And if you’re in a professional setting, where you’re writing or in a team setting, and you’re having to deal with version control with other people, which draft are we working on which folder? Which which systems at Google? Is it OneDrive is it, you know, Dropbox, where’s this thing even, it’s easy to lose track of stuff. And you know, sometimes that can cause a big problem with, you know, the team or whatever. And so, you know, just logistically, you become less efficient, the more projects you’re handling.

That’s not as serious to me, though, as the fact that, for us, sort of writer types, our subconscious is a big part of how we get things done. You know, whether you’re a novelist, you write fiction, and you’re the back of your brain is sort of constantly without you even realizing it, you know, solving a plot twist, or coming up with a cool way to kill someone in a book or, you know, whatever it might be a piece of dialogue pops into your brain, right? Your subconscious is doing work for on your writing all the time. As a researcher, the same thing is true for me, my brain is always working on methods problems, or, you know, what kind of hook should there be for this article?

Or how do I figure out how to bridge from one topic to me, there’s the back, your brain is doing a lot of work. And some of the best ideas I’ve had sort of pop up to me, like, when I get up in the morning, realize my brain has been doing it without me noticing. Fantastic, I always feel like that’s a great win. The problem when you have multiple projects is that I think it leads to an inefficient subconscious. When you have one project, your subconscious gets very focused on it. And it’s pretty good and productive, popping up new thoughts for you to take a look at about that one project.

But when you’ve got multiple things going on, your subconscious gets diverted, it gets diffused. And it cannot, in my experience, produce as much kind of back in the brain for free kinds of ideas, as if you just have one sort of baby that you’re working on. And for me, you know, when I get into book mode, and I started ignoring other projects, this is how I can tell how much more effective my subconscious is, when I’m in a single track, and my brain spends most of the day on it. Then the rest of the time, I think I’m eating dinner, I’m doing other things. I’m swimming and running.

And you know, the brain is doing all sorts of crazy stuff. But what during a lot of the time when I’m working on multiple things, and my brain doesn’t seem to do that the same way. And so I you know, I can’t put a number on this, but it’s just another cost of managing multiple projects. I think it can be a serious one. And the last one, I think this is you know, this is a huge one for all of us. managing multiple projects raises the risk very seriously of burnout, loss of energy, motivation, drain, and all that sort of stuff. And I know we all know the feeling of burning In the candle on both ends, maybe too hard burnout. And that can put a real dent in your any plan. So avoiding that always a good idea.

Now, yeah, those are that’s a lot of cuts against the idea of writing on multiple projects at once, right? I mean, not being able to follow through being less productive, maybe not having as high quality, all these logistical and other, you know, issues and then the threat of of burnout, like, why would anyone ever do this? But, you know, evidence suggests a lot of people do do this. So what are the occasions on which it might be okay, for you to engage in managing multiple projects at once? Well, what does if you have to write if you have to button you know, juggle multiple projects because of your job, then you’re, you know, one of your main tasks is to figure out how you’re going to cope with that, right? It’s a professional requirement, you’re going to do it.

The second possibility is that, you know, you’re noodling along on your current project, and up pops an opportunity. Maybe someone approaches you and says, Hey, would you like to write something with me, you know, co author, a short story, a novel, you want to throw a chapter into an anthology of some sort, whatever that might be? The problem is your current project has a deadline, right? It’s got some kind of deadline already, you all want to do something. But you don’t want to say no to the new opportunity. What do you do? Well, I think a lot of people say yes, to the second opportunity, and then Jared into their writing schedule willy nilly. And that doesn’t go too well.

But sometimes you want to take that opportunity. And that can be good for you to take that opportunity, you know, assuming you can get everything done. So I think there are a number of different reasons and I don’t I didn’t even mention, you know, this sort of, I talked about last week, when we were talking about finishing how, you know, we often become vulnerable to epiphany is late in a project. So another reason that people tend to start another project is because they’re getting bored of the current one, they need some motivation. And so to perk themselves up, they’ll grab a new project. So they can regain some of that excitement they have for their writing.

And, you know, I will generally argue against that, and I talked about that last week. But, you know, there is some argument, I know, people actually, who argue, you know, I get, I can’t really just work on one thing, my brain needs more new things than that to be happy, I have to have a couple things going on. So if that’s you, okay, learn to figure out a way to plan around that. So if you do need to manage multiple projects, all you’re thinking about, here are some thoughts about how you might do that successfully, or at least successful enough to, to make it worth doing.

Triage Your Projects
So the first big umbrella step, I think, is to triage your writing projects. And, and step one of the triage is to get rid of anything non essential on your plate, right? If you’re gonna manage more than one writing project, you really have to clear the decks of anything else, that’s not essential. And this is a probably a longer discussion. And I think it’s probably a very personal discussion. What is non essential to me, might not be non essential to you, and so on. But I think in theory, what I mean by non essential are things that can wait, things that are nice to have, but aren’t nearly as important as any of your writing projects, or things whose value really actually depends on you finishing the writing.

So things like social media, or writing, like for, for academics whose careers depend on publishing in refereed academic journals, writing op eds is is great because people say, Hey, I saw your name and whatever, wherever. But it doesn’t do anything for your for getting tenure, or for getting promoted, really. So So, you know, I would call that and instance, and repressor is something that’s non essential, you might like to do it, you might want to do it. But if you’re really serious about handling multiple writing projects, you probably need to think about whether you have time for nonessential things. And if you’re like me, you don’t have very much time for non essential stuff in your weekly schedule, because your weekly schedule is full of all kinds of things, not just writing.

And so you know, the first thing I have to recommend when you’re triaging is to clear the decks of anything that doesn’t have to be their second piece of the triage process is to rank order. Your writing projects. Yep, in order of importance, so You know, obviously you want to do them all. So they’re all important at one level. But very typically, I would say, almost all the time, something is the most important. Whether it’s because it’s your, you know, your Opus, or whether it’s because it’s the thing that’s going to make you money next, or it’s, frankly, the closest to being done.

For me, the way I prioritize things, typically on my academic writing is, whatever’s closest to being published is the thing that gets priority. And, you know, there are other ways you could do things. But again, in in that world, the coin of the realm is published papers. And so I’m, you know, prioritizing whatever’s closest to getting that next little, you know, check mark on the wall, that’s what’s going to get the priority. So So, you know, whatever that priority process looks like for you, you need to figure that out. And that’s going to be important as we move through the other pieces of, of the strategy here, but you need that to be able to make your plans, you know, and align your your schedule with your priorities.

So, you know, if you’re a 12 week year for writers person, you’re gonna, you’re gonna use your vision to make sure that you have prioritized things in a way that makes sense to get you where you want to go. Right. So you’re going addition on essentials, you’re going to rank order your works in progress. And then you’re going to consider the timing question. Just because you’re managing multiple projects or juggling multiple projects, doesn’t really mean that they all need to make equal progress right now, just because something is in your active folder, doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to happen today, maybe one of them has to happen today. And you don’t want the other one too far. Because you want to keep an eye on it. You want to you want to quote unquote, make some progress on it.

But consider the time is one of these things, something that has to happen very soon, for a specific reason you have a deadline, or some kind of specific goal for that piece. And is the other thing, maybe the one you’ve added later, maybe you can push the goal, push the timing back, so that you don’t have to have them conflict in your schedule as much as they will. Otherwise, you know, again, not always possible to to delay something enough to finish the first one first completely before you start it. But any opportunity you have to deconflict those things is going to be good. And I’ll come back to that point in just a minute as well. Alright, so step one, triage, right? assign every piece of your work, rank order of importance. So we can use that in our planning here in just a minute.

Balance Your Workload (Schedule Strategically)
Alright, so second piece, building your plan, right? And the catchphrase here is balance your workload. Or we might, I guess, say schedule strategically. Alright, and this has a number of different points, right? So first, as I just foreshadow, first step is to align your 12 week plan or whatever planning system you’re using around your priorities. Right? If something is the biggest, and the most important, and the most burning thing, it should be taking up most of your week. And here’s an interesting thing I have learned from, from my own life, and from watching others. A lot of times without realizing it will tell people correctly that, you know, my dissertation in my book, my whatever, is the most important thing, and I’ve really, I’m really burning to get that done. It’s my most important thing I yeah, I spend almost, you know, I’m really, really focused on it.

But if we then look at your time, and how you actually spend it during the week, sometimes you will be surprised to realize that you don’t spend as much time on that magnum opus as you thought, relative to other things. For example, when I, when I asked my students, how much time during week they work on their dissertation, versus how much time Are they on social media? Or how much time are they doing email? Or how much right and I’m like, guys, you’re writing a PhD, you have exactly one job, and any hours that you spent, and if you ask any of them, what they’re overriding sort of, you know, thing that’s occupying all their brain space, and all the time, they’ll tell you, it’s their dissertation. But if you look at a little plan, you know, if you actually did a time, you know, diet analysis, they’re not spending that much time on their dissertation.

So we need to make sure that doesn’t happen when we’re writing on multiple fronts at once. We need to have a plan that is laser focused on our priorities. So your biggest most important thing gets the lion’s share of the plan and then accordingly, you layer in other projects after that, right so so aligning your plan around your priorities is sort of piece one and sort of just following on sort of point one be on there. is when you’re laying out your weekly and your 12 week plans, you want to schedule the big chunks of your most important project first, right?

So, when you’re thinking out, okay, this week, I’ve got eight hours to work, I’ve got 10 hours to work, I’ve got 20 hours to work, I have to or I have three projects, right? So. So every week, you know, you should be trying to make sure that the the juiciest, most delectable parts of your schedule, go towards the big chunk of the big project, if there’s a big piece that will get things rolling, you want to schedule that first. And it better be on the most important project, right? So you want to schedule the big boulders in first and then you can layer in the smaller stuff where you have room.

And as you’re doing this, you need to obey your speed limit. I talked about this in the book. And I think I may have mentioned it last week as well, but it bears repeating. Right, every plan that you make, when you’re juggling multiple priorities, you’re very, very great temptation is going to be to put too many things in your weekly plan, you’re going to, you’re going to want to get progress on all two or three or four fronts. on all your projects every week, I feel comfortable saying it’s not going to happen, you don’t have that much time, no one has as much time to do all the stuff they think they might be able to do. It’s a human problem we all share.

I call it magic thinking, don’t do any magic thinking, sit down and map things out so that you layer in the big chunks. And you know exactly when during the week, you’re gonna have them and then layer in smaller pieces on your less important projects as you can. But when you get to the end of the available time, stop, do not over stuff, your plan, because that’s going to lead to is not going to help you actually get those things done. In fact, what’s going to do is screw up your ability to do any planning because the next week’s plan is then going to be twice as long because it’s going to be all the magic things that you did for that week beforehand, plus all the excess garbage that you didn’t get done from the first week. And it goes on and on until you have a mountain in week three or four.

And then you throw the plan out the window. And then what happens, right chaos reigns and you know, cats live with dogs and all sorts of bad things happen. So so you need to not do any magic think you need to obey your speed limit. In other words, you need to know and pay attention to how fast you actually work on the kinds of projects you’re working on. Sometimes, you know new writers may not know this yet. And so it’s going to be about experimenting, experimenting to figure out what that limit is. Some projects go a little faster than others great, some goes slower. That’s how it goes. right but but for each project, you need to be realistic about how fast you can go so that you don’t put any more in a weekly plan, then you can actually get done, right.

So align your plan around the priorities, schedule those big pieces first and stop scheduling things to do no more tactics when you’ve run out of time to do them. Right. And then a tip here on balancing your workload that I think is kind of a pro tip a little different from the ones I just talked about. And that is to learn the art of staggering your projects. And I think this tends to happen naturally, because of the way projects begin and what how we tend to begin them. Because like I said, you know, we tend to start new things when we’re sort of slap dab in the middle of an existing project or maybe near the end of a project. So a lot of times you’re starting a new thing when you’re ending another one.

But here’s what I mean, specifically, I have found that, for me, I am much more able to handle a second project. If the phase of that project is very different from the phase the other project is in. So for me, you know, doing academic research, if I am, if I am doing background reading for a paper, that’s pretty low brain, I mean, it’s not no brain work. I mean, I’m thinking while I’m reading, but it’s a very different kind of brain juice and energy from writing. And writing is different from data analysis or data collection, which is different from reading. So those if you think of like those three phases for me, which is pretty classic, right?

So I have you know, background research and review reading type stuff, I have data collection and data analysis, I have writing those three big phases. I find it easier to manage multiple projects at the same time if each one of them is in a different phase. So if I have One thing where I’m doing some noodling, I call it noodling a lot composting noodling I’m I’m learning, I’m getting ready to think about what the paper is going to look like and how that’s different from the data phase where I might have another project where I’m actually going out now and collecting data.

And that’s different from a project where I’ve done all that. And now, what’s left is the more mechanical process of writing. If I have those three different things, I find the switching costs are lower. If I go from project a, where all I’m doing is reading, it’s relatively easy for me to drop that switch over, look at a data set and go Okay, where were we Aha, you know, because for whatever reason, I do it also, because it uses a different part of my brain, I don’t think I get as tired.

When I switch from reading to data, it’s like I have to break. That’s kind of nice. And if I’ve been looking at data for a day, and then I turn around the next day, and I get to write something, I’m like, wow, I have written a while this is awesome, right. And then another phase in my world is something is out for review. So it’s kinda like a cheating phase, because I don’t actually have to do anything. So I normally have quite often had papers in for each of those phases at the same time, and been okay. Right? relatively okay, because I wasn’t straining one part of my brain consistently every day during the week.

So I try to balance my workload, by aligning my plan around my priorities, by scheduling the biggest and most important things first, during each week, so I give them my best attention, my best energy, I obey my speed limit. So I’m not doing any magic thinking I’m not doing putting too much each week. And finally, I’m staggering the phases and the kinds of activities I’m doing throughout a 12 week cycle, so that my brain doesn’t get worn out doing one thing over and over and over again too much.

And that may look somewhat different for you, you may have different phases. But I think, you know, most writing has multiple phases, whether you think of it as sort of, you know, doing background, thinking about a story and just exploring themes and dreaming up characters, to plotting to writing a draft to doing a developmental edit, which can be a very different feel from doing the first draft, right? revising is different, all these things take a different kind of energy. And you may find that having a project in two very different parts of that sort of spectrum is easier than if you’re switching back and forth from two things that are exactly in the same phase at once. Alright, so tip one, triage, step two, balance your workload.

Executing with Discipline
And finally, the last sort of strategy for success: Execute with discipline, I guess, would be the way to say this. You know, when we’re working on one thing at a time, if we have enough available time, sometimes we don’t have to be very strategic, or very efficient. And the example I always give here is when I was writing my dissertation, I had full time to do it, because I was, you know, had a scholarship from the school to sit around on my butt. And I didn’t have any other to dos, all I had to do is write a dissertation. And so I got up every day and went to my office. And I just did whatever the next thing in front of me was. And that was good enough. It wasn’t efficient, I wasn’t quick. 

But I got I got it done, because I was laser focused on just that one thing. But when you have multiple things going on, and you have deadlines for things, and you have other people expecting things from you, you do not have the leisure of being inefficient anymore, you need to be disciplined, because if you’re not all sorts of bad things are gonna start to happen. You’re gonna miss deadlines, you’re going to fail to follow through, you’re not going to get things done with high quality, none of these things are going to be good. Right? 

So how do we make sure we are efficient when we have multiple things? And I think it’s all about making sure that your execution stays is disciplined. And so what do I mean by that? Right? So the first thing is, when you’re mapping out your week, and this is one of the real benefits of the 12 week year system, when you’re mapping out every week, I always tell my students to, you know, regardless what system they’re using, right to know, exactly every week, when and where they’re going to be writing, and then to just break down their projects and tell you tell me what exactly you’re going to be doing each day. And you know, you don’t necessarily know 1,000% how long each thing will take you in the writing world. I understand that. I don’t know all the time either. Although I’ve gotten a lot better at knowing how long something’s going to take me. 

But you need to do your best job ever when you’re handling multiple projects at build time blocking so that you know if you have Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings to write and you have multiple projects, you know exactly which project you’re working on what days for how long And and you need to stick to that, because your whole plan is built on each project getting what it needs at each stage. Because if you don’t, things are going to Domino and sort of snowball in other metaphors here. Where any progress you don’t make on project one is going to mean you need to take time from project two to finish up project one, and then project two is behind. And then you know, project three, and then project one is behind the next week. 

So you need to stay disciplined, you need to hit your goals, your writing goals every week, because the getting out of control can happen very quickly, when you have a lot of things coming at you. The second big piece of advice on the execute with discipline step is to make sure that you have an accountability system built in. And this is why the weekly execution routine of the 12 week year is so critical and why a weekly writing group is so important for everyone. You know, I typically will have co authors on all my academic stuff. So I have kind of like a built in different writing group for each project. And it’s because it’s project specific, it’s really fun, because everyone’s really bought into that project and everyone wants to be accountable and everyone’s contributing. And it makes for a very high level conversation every week about the project and very inspirational for getting things done. 

So I really recommend if you have multiple projects, at the very least you have a writing group and accountability group for your writing generally. But if you have to, if you can, it would be fantastic. If you have some kind of way to have a sort of a group for each of your big projects, if assuming they’re big projects, they might each benefit from and you might benefit from a project specific reading group. 

And then the last thing I’ll suggest under the execute with discipline here is check in with yourself and your projects as you’re going before something gets to the point where it’s a complete tragedy of complete disaster. figure out whether you need to maybe kill, destroy or delay a project that isn’t going the way it should, you know, no matter how well we try, sometimes when we’re in multiple project land, we will wind up with a project that just isn’t, isn’t getting there isn’t making progress. 

Now, sometimes this is on ourselves, because we have scheduled too much after all. And this happens and you thought you could do it, maybe you did it before and it was no problem do three different things at the same time before. But for whatever reason, the rest of your life is busier now and you just don’t have the energy for that anymore. Or you have a new responsibility. So you have less time. And so you didn’t realize, you know, that can happen, or, and this happens to me, frankly, more than a little someone you’re working with will have to slow down on their end. And it will put a hole in your schedule, because your project will get way behind. 

So I’ve made the mistake of editing several books that have multiple different authors. And there hasn’t been a single one of those where everyone turned in their chapter on schedule. So these things always get delayed. I try to bake in a little delay. So I’ve given my earlier deadline that I really need because then I tell a different number. But you know what, it still happens that these things get delayed. So if you’re working a 12 week plan, and someone says you know what, I’m sick, I’m not gonna get my chapter to you for two months, you need to put a pin in that project, that’s fine. It’s okay, this happens. 

Put it in that project, put on the side of the desk, take it out of your current plan, rejigger your plan around what’s remaining, Hey, good news is you’re gonna make quicker progress on what’s left. And then bring that plan back, bring that other project back into your plan later when that person gets back up off their floor and gets their writing going again. One of the things that I think really can hold people back is if they let sort of the dogs in their project bin you know, keep them busy for too long. You know, we all have projects that sometimes just need to go away. And if you’re starting to feel like that might be true. One of the greatest skills you can have is knowing when to put something aside maybe it’s not ready right now maybe it needs to go back in the idea garden and you know, mature for another couple of years before it’s ready, right? 

Or maybe your schedule just needs to be at a different place. Maybe it’s the kind of project you thought you could handle in an afternoon a week you can kind of make some progress but you realize once you get into it, nope, it’s gonna be something that takes me I’m gonna need a full sort of bore approach on that one. So I have to put it aside for now. Don’t be afraid to make that decision. That’s that’s sort of like a triage question. Right? That’s that’s open all the time is, is this still important? Is this still doable is this still part of what You know I should be doing. 

And being as quick as you can to get rid of things that don’t work kind of reminds me of the, the line from the business world. Hire slow and fire fast. Sounds a little cold. But I mean, the idea being you want to take plenty of time to figure out whether you’re going to hire someone, make sure they’re compatible, make sure they’re the right person for the job, make sure that’s the job you need, doing all that sort of stuff. But once you have an employee who is really under functioning, the longer you let that go, the worse. 

And the same exact thing is true in your writing. You want to measure twice and cut once right? You want to make sure as you can before you start a project that it’s going to be worth your time, because it’s gonna be a big investment over time. But as soon as you can figure out it’s not the right project anymore. The sooner you kill it, the sooner you get rid of all the costs. Hi birdie bird, the dog wants to say hi. The sooner you can identify the fact that this project is losing you time, and sleep and money, the better and you can get on to doing more productive things with your time. 

All right. That’s probably enough. Right now I’ve scared all of you into dropping all of your extra projects and you’re all going to work on just one. But if you do continue to work on multiple projects, I would be fascinated to hear what strategies you find most useful for doing that and for juggling, the busy you know, schedule that we all have as writers.

Until next time, happy writing.

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