It’s common. And it is a great idea. It certainly is for entrepreneurs. Multiple streams of revenue. You get a bunch of ideas going and see which take off. Creatively, moving in many or more directions at once is a great way to quickly identify which project is going to bring the results you envision. And if you’re lucky enough to have a couple go the distance? All the better!
Some writers work on two (or more) projects at once – two novels, two poems, two screenplays, two short stories – one of each. They talk about how they have a couple of projects going and bounce back and forth between the two. They talk about both projects with the same enthusiasm and energy. I am convinced they know what they are doing.
I am not one of those writers.
Their way is not my way.
I am one of the single-threaded ones. One of the slow and lumbering ones. I cannot maintain two boiling pots at once. I find the switch to be too great. I find the switch to be a burden. Once I’m in a voice I want to stay there, dig in, and find intimacy with the tenor and tone of what I’m trying to perceive. I like to dive deep, and stay down until my tank is nearly empty. Then I like to return to the same reef, move slower, and look closer.
This means I finish fewer projects. I discover the ideas that aren’t going to work serially instead of in parallel. I have to prioritize what I work on, and plan a bit more. And my mood swings with the work at hand.
So it goes. We don’t pick which projects will succeed. And we don’t pick our creative DNA.