For the first three months of my freelance career, projects came in at a slower rate than I had hoped. I spent much of my time developing marketing materials for my new business, taking an online course to learn about self-publishing, working on several children’s book manuscripts, and brainstorming ideas for several more.
This week, however, I’m frantically trying to get two projects completed, with another due soon. I’m bouncing back and forth between them, focusing first on one, then the other. All are fun projects—an article on student activism for Teaching Tolerance magazine, a news release promoting the One School, One Book program, and a brochure for the Highlights Foundation.
On the one hand, it can be a bit disconcerting to keep shifting my focus back and forth. On the other, it helps keep my perspective fresh. By working on one project for a while and then setting it aside for a bit to work on another, I never get into a mental rut.
Whenever I work with young writers in schools, I always stress the value of setting aside a draft for a while—a few hours or a few days—before editing it. That allows them to view the piece with fresh eyes and [hopefully] catch problems or errors they might not have seen otherwise. Weeks like this one help ensure that I practice that principle with my own writing.
With that in mind, I welcome the opportunity to juggle projects. Not only does it mean that the work is coming in at a good pace, but it also allows me to maintain a fresher perspective than if I were totally immersed in a single project.
Random Thought of the Week: I’m getting together with a college friend later this week, which started me thinking about my hopes and dreams for my writing back in the late 1970s, when I bounced back and forth between thinking I would someday be a bestselling author and simply hoping I’d SOMEDAY get SOMETHING published SOMEWHERE. At the time, if I’d known that at this point in my life I’d have 16 published books to my credit (all of which put together don’t equal one bestseller), I guess I would have thought that was pretty good.