“Orbiting” projects

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to last week’s post – here, on Facebook and elsewhere. The general consensus is that I finish the book and, on the whole, I agree. But while the case continues, I think I’ll leave it on ice. I have other stuff I can be getting on with and if someone pips me to the post, then I’m a firm believer that it was never meant to be. If they don’t … well, that’s a different story.

We’ve had a busy few weekends, with visiting, catching up with gardening and the like. We even managed to see a couple of bands on Friday. We still have to do “I is for …” for the alphabet adventurers, and it’s unlikely we’ll be doing that over the next 2 weekends. However, we do have a 3-week holiday coming up and while we have 2 campsites booked (in Pembrokeshire and in the Brecon Beacons), we’re also hoping to catch up with “I” … and maybe even “J”.

This weekend just gone we went to see Joanne Harris in conversation at the Huddersfield Literature Festival. She gave a very interesting and lively talk and there was a variety of questions from the audience. I learnt a couple of things that I may try, but the single most positive item that came out of it for me is that Joanne will often start one project and then put it to one side and work on something else while the first one percolates.

This percolation could take years and, in all, she usually has 3 different “worlds”, or series, that she revisits one after the other – or, as she refers to it, she orbits. She may write the first 3 chapters before putting it to one side to either start something new or continue with something already started.

I think this is the first time I’ve heard an author say in a talk that this is an acceptable way to work. Almost everyone else I’ve seen has said you must finish what you started before moving on to anything else.

Well, this way of working suits me very well. And with that in mind, I’m going to leave Catch the Rainbow for now and come back to it when I’m ready, and let it percolate in the background. For now, I’m picking up The Beast Within: a Marcie Craig mystery. And when I run out of steam on that one, I’ll look at The Fool: a Stevie Tarot story.

Today, then, I have a new edit to start. It’s a short one and a new client. I’m expecting another in on Thursday, from an existing client. I haven’t had my signed contract back from the publisher yet for the non-fiction book, so I won’t be spending any time on that. I’ve already lost a month, but I still think I can meet my 1 September deadline, so long as it comes back this week.

For now, I’ll work on some fiction in my “writing work” time slots.

2 thoughts on ““Orbiting” projects

  1. It was a fascinating talk. I loved the idea of using patterns and scents in the book also
    Great to see the both of you there, even briefly. You missed my starring moment! 😀

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