News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (www.NobleDead.org); author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

The Nearly Impossible Juggling Act

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I've never been good at juggling projects--not with writing or house cleaning or life in general.  My brain insists that I finish one thing completely before turning to something else.

This was a bit of a problem back when I taught college and I was writing the early Noble Dead books.  Due to the constant mountain of grading on my desk (that had to be done), I was only working on the books in the breaks between semesters.  Seriously, JC and I outlined Thief of Lives on a break, and I wrote the rough draft on a month-long holiday break.  I didn't quite finish before classes began, but I had a little time before assignments started pouring it.  Writing at that pace was grueling, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't seem to work on more than one major project at once.  This was an enormous, frustrating, life altering problem for me.

Years later . . . I think I'm finally getting better.

Once I started writing The Vampire Memories series, I had to adjust my brain to working on more than one project at once--as a Noble Dead book and a Vampire Memories book would always be "in the works" only at different stages (outlining or drafting or revising or copy-editing or proofreading, etc). 

This was almost impossible for me at first (to switch gears in the middle of a novel and work on another novel), but I started being able to do it.

Recently, JC and I started writing short stories that we're e-publishing, and at present I'm working on a fairly lengthy one called "The Keepers of Chemestuk Keep."  There is nothing remarkable about that unto itself . . . except that JC and I are also working on the outline for the next Noble Dead novel.  Yesterday, he worked on the outline and I worked on that story.  Today, the outline has been passed back to me, and I'll put the story on hold and get back to work on the outline. 

For me, this seems astonishing.


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