Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Managing more than one project

While you might have the luxury of working on one thing at a time, I do not. I suppose I could arrange my schedule towards achieving that goal, however, I cannot imagine not having more than one project going at any given time.
Right now, as I sit writing this blog entry, I have the following writing projects going.
A.            Final editing for The Observers – A Science Fiction Odyssey. This book, 72K words long and my second with http://www.koehlerbooks.com, has been edited for format and story (back and forth) and content (also back and forth). It’s currently at the copy edit back on the East Coast. As soon as I get that edit sent to me, this will become my number one priority because I want to make sure we keep our December 2015, release date.
B.            Second edits and copy edits of the seven stories that will be part of Traveler’s HOT L #2 (that’s the working title). Right now at 92K words in length, this book will be published through Amazon’s CreateSpace, as was RIFTS-A Science Fiction Thriller. Release date target for Traveler’s HOT L #2 is pre-Thanksgiving of this year. This is my #1 priority when The Observers is back at the publisher.
C.            Currently at the imagine and create stage, is a book idea I’m working on with a co-author, Gregg Gibbs, a retired Irvine, California Police Sergeant. Stay tuned for details. This project pops into first place when I have a nuance for an idea already in place. Until then, it’s not really on the radar.
D.            Also, in the queue are two detective books starring Phil Mamba, my private detective—he has a story in each of the Traveler’s HOT L books. The first exclusively Mamba book is composed of four of his case files with the fourth being a “you solve it,” story. The second book is a full-length novel based on a real event. I’m looking at 2015 release dates on those.
Ongoing, non-writing projects include:
E.            Starting last week, I am teaching two sections of a class on Curriculum and Assessment for Azusa Pacific University’s Teacher Credential Program. This two-class obligation will continue until at least late January.
F.             Being a husband, father, and grandpa.
G.            Keep up with preparation for my Adult Life Group class at Mission Church of the Nazarene in San Diego.
Still more stuff
H.           Being part of my almost 93-year-old mom’s life.
I.              Then there’s twice daily dog walking.
J.             Honey-do items.
K.            Oh, yeah. Facebook, Twitter, and webpage management.
You get the drift.
So, how do I keep all the plates spinning on their spindly sticks?
1.        I know what my projects are.
That may sound like nonsense, but if I don’t keep in mind what the priority projects are for me in any given day, I end up spending inordinate amounts of time on what might be legitimate activities that are not one of my current projects. So, first off, know what you are working on that has a deadline—that’s probably one of your projects.
1.             I map out time each day for projects and the other legitimate stuff.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” From 1955-2012, most every weekday of my life had a set schedule—school of some sort. Whether as a student or teacher, that’s how many years I was “in school.”
When I retired, I had to make a schedule. It’s not controlled by a bell system. But, I do have time blocked out for Prayer/Devotions, Writing, APU stuff, Other Life Items. Most days I stick to the schedule—if I err, it’s almost always to allow for more writing time because sometimes I just have to get that story out of my brain!
2.            I work with a wonderful publicist.
I recommend working with a professional who values your work and works for you to make your writing better. I am most fortunate to be working with Sherry Frazier (http://www.frazierpublicrelations.com/).
She has helped me focus. She has kicked my tush on occasion, when I deserved it. She has redirected my focus when asked. She is one of my biggest fans.
I cannot give her high enough recommendations.
3.            I don’t let creative juice spoil.
I can only edit existing material for a certain length of time. Then, I have to do something new. So, I build into my timeline enough flextime to allow me to take a break on the very necessary editing processes and work on new storylines, characters, whatever.
So, what’s the bottom line on Managing more than one project?
Know your projects. Plan your work time. Find someone who’ll keep you on track. Keep on writing.
Next Blog: The daily schedule
Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com

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