Recently, I’ve been seeing a few memes on my dashboard about choosing to write the next book instead of editing the prior one. People joke about how bad of habit this is. And they may be right if they’re putting editing off altogether because, like I’ve said before, editing is the bulk of writing a book. But, I think there’s this strange mindset that you should finish a project before starting a new one. And this seems like a really good way to get really sick of your book. 

I’m saying this as somebody who wrote my first book without starting my second. And as someone who is currently editing my second book, while writing my third. 

And I have to say, my second book is coming along much better, much faster and far more loved than my first one! 

And I think the reason is that lack of exclusivity. 

Now, I published my first book like two weeks ago. To get to that point I spent one year working exclusively on that book, and then an extra year putting of finishing the very final details. 

And although I love my book, my characters and my world, picking up this book feels exhausting, I’ve read it, over twenty times in the past few years. 

Now, my second book I’ve read five times, and I still smile, laugh and get excited by parts of it. Part of that is that every book should be better than the last because it’s a skill that you practice and improve upon, but another part of that is the choice to multitask. 

Because I’m working on several prequel series, the sequel and the book all at once, I often pause and edit things to reflect what’s going on in those other instalments, this adds a lot of depth and make going back more engaging. 

I also find myself paying extra attention to how characters talk and act in this second book to make sure I’m maintaining consistency in those other stories. 

So, I’m not editing in a vacuum. 

But it’s going to slow me down, right? 

You can’t possibly expect to get more stuff done in less time… right? 

Well, perhaps not for everybody, but for me engagement is directly tied to my inspiration which is directly tied to my motivation which is directly tied to productivity. When I get bored editing, I write a bit, when I get bored writing, I edit a bit. So I’m in a loop of writing and editing and being far more productive than if I just burn myself out and watch YouTube for the rest of the day.

Not that you don’t need full on breaks at times, you do.

But the simple fact of the matter is, as long as you’re not completely neglecting a project, having more than one shouldn’t slow you down. It shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. It’s just the way you work. And it can be hard to know when you’re neglecting a project, if you’re not sure, just make sure you do, one chapter a day for example! That way even if progress is slow, there’s progress. 

Keep writing, keep reading and don’t forget to water your plants!