I’m here to tell you why you should take on 15 different writing projects, because you have to do everything at once.
Completely kidding, but there is some benefit to diversifying your work.
Let me tell you, this is not for the faint of heart. As you get your writing skills honed and your writing productivity improves, taking on a few extra projects can help you fight burnout, give you breaks, and keep your mind fresh for new ideas.
I am a person who wants to take writing full time but can’t quite cut it yet. Right now, I am working hard to make it a reality, but I still need a stable income which means I can only write in my spare time (and sometimes I have to manufacture that spare time). So when I’m writing, I’m writing a lot to make up for lost time.
That causes a lot of stress for me. When you stare at the same project for hours at a time, it can be overwhelming, but because you want to improve your skills and make a name, you keep going.
But I never want to lose the fun of writing, and that’s why I diversify my projects. Here’s how I do it and what I’ve gotten out of taking on several projects.
Write on different mediums, topics, and styles
I write fiction novels, but that’s not all I have to my name. I also write on Medium with non-fiction, self-improvement articles. I’ve also started a coaching business. And at my day job, I write social media and blog content for a pharmaceutical and disinfectant company.
Each one of my “projects” touches a different medium, topic, or style. The only real place that I have an “official” deadline is for my day job, so everything else is all bonus stuff that I do in my spare time.
I take on a lot, because I have a lot of interests, but it doesn’t have to be so much for you. If you can only balance two projects, that’s okay. It also helps to understand that finishing a project will take a little longer. You can’t put in part-time work and expect full-time results.
Work with the ebb and flow of motivation and breaks
After a long weekend of working on my novel, I need to take a step away. It helps me give my novel some space so I can come at it with a fresh mind, but I don’t want to stop writing entirely. By having a different project to turn to, I can continue writing yet still get a break on working with a single project.
It also helps when I don’t always have the motivation to work on a certain scene. Sometimes I need to be in the right frame of mind to work on a chapter. It helps to turn to article writing or creating habit coaching programs that give me distance from my novel while still working on my writing skills.
Develop your writing
Practicing writing in different styles, formats, and perspectives is a great way to develop your skills as a writer. I challenge myself with each new project by changing something about it — be that going from fiction to non-fiction, writing about writing to writing about habits, or coaching others after working on social media writing. Having projects within each format gives me the chance to work on my skills in one area and translate that into others.
Market across platforms
Because I have a solid connection with each platform I write in, I’m able to connect all my work together. My writing on Medium can double as a program in my coaching course, my novel content can be marketed here or on my Medium account, and I’m able to reach two separate writing audiences with my established blog and my newly established platform on Medium.
There’s always an idea
Having multiple projects to work on means I always have a new idea to work on. I never have to worry about not knowing what to write next. When I experience the flow of new work, I don’t feel burnout. Staring at the same project for hours on end can be exhausting, so spreading that skill over new ideas can help them continue into the future. Curiosity in other areas is how we learn to connect new ideas.
Learn to finish a project
It might sound counterintuitive at first, but having a few projects to work on doesn’t actually result in never finishing a project. Because I work on it part-time, I don’t have deadlines for my writing. However, I do always like to see work finish. Changing the momentum with my writing projects helps me finish them with the same excitement as I started with. Because I don’t lose that excitement from burnout, I’m willing to see that project through to the end.