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Multi-Phasic Writing

As part of an exchange on TikTok with another writer, I have become focused on both the challenges and joys of my current life as a full-time writer. The comment was made that full-time writing is so hard that one should avoid it at all costs! Instead, one should take on a full-time job, and write in the gaps. I disagree, although I do agree that there are challenges to undertaking successfully full-time writing.

In my response on TikTok, I noted that as a former scientist with years of work on cognition, I have a good grounding in practices that allow one to keep energized. These include taking on part-time work in areas involving dramatically different types of brain function, switching between writing projects frequently, and tracking one's output. I also talked about taking part in co-writing groups with other writers, which I do both online and offline. In these groups, we sit together and write in parallel, not in general in order to share our work, just as a way of finding mutual encouragement. It all helps.

But further reflection has led me to the conclusion that another of the tools for a successful full-time writing career, at least in my case, is to have a range of writing projects that are at different stages of development. I hinted at this in my last post. My Regency project is in the early planning stages. "Splicer", my time travel novel, is in an advanced stage of developing the first draft. "Goodness in Small Doses" is undergoing the final stages of revision, along with "Messioph", while "Apprentice" is undergoing revisions at an earlier phase. "Plenum", of course, is in the marketing, post-publication phase. Hence there is an entire production cycle going on here. And I love it. If the work starts flagging in one area, then I switch to another. And because I track my time, I know how much time I spend writing, how much marketing, etc. In the figure below, you can see how much time I spent in April at these different tasks, for a total writing time of about 140 hours as of April 20. There is an exhileration in writing in this way. And productivity is consistently high, bringing additional satisfactions.

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