One of my favorite children’s books is Tomie dePaola’s The Clown of God, which tells the tale of a street urchin who achieves fame and fortune as a juggling clown. The book ends by describing his last and most special performance. I’ve always envied jugglers, mostly because I can barely handle one object at a time, let alone juggle three or four or more. But lately I’ve been practicing the art of juggling in my writing.
After a slow period this summer when I began to question whether this freelance writing career was really a good idea, I have recently found myself with as many projects as I can handle. The challenge has been to keep various stages of multiple projects moving forward while meeting all of my various deadlines and commitments along the way.
I’ve always preferred working on multiple projects each day rather than zeroing in on just one. I find that my attention stays sharper if I shift back and forth rather than spending hours upon hours focused on just one project. Lately, however, I’ve felt a little like a ping pong ball as I’ve bounced back and forth between speaking engagements, a white paper, several newspaper and magazine articles, marketing activities, trying to move two books forward, and more.
Sometimes the biggest challenge for the day is figuring out a schedule that will allow me to stay on top of everything. One night this week I did a telephone interview at 10 p.m. and then finished the article draft at midnight.
Don’t get me wrong—this is all GOOD! When you’re a freelancer, it’s always better to be too busy than not busy enough. So for right now I’ll just keep practicing my juggling.
Random Writing Thought of the Week: One of my theories of successful freelancing is to always have LOTS of queries and proposals circulating, realizing that many of them will never come to fruition. When several of them happen to come together at the same time, then I end up with the happy juggling situation I have now. I hope it continues!