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Is it possible to work on more than one project at a time?

If you are writing Morning Pages, and then working later on a project, you are already writing more than one idea. While I have found Morning Pages plus a project to be a satisfying amount of writing, I have also occasionally worked on still more. For my purposes, I find that it is the type of writing, more than the amount, which dictates my day’s work. I write Morning Pages, I write three pages of nonfiction, and then, if I still have the itch to write, I turn to fiction. And so it happens that while I wrote The Prosperous Heart, I also wrote a play. I remember this period as being both happy and productive, but I also remember that I myself was impressed by the sheer amount of work I was producing.
The best way to tell how much writing is “too much” is to experiment. Morning Pages? Yes, fine. Nonfiction? Also fine. Fiction? Perhaps a bit of a strain. In order to accomplish all three, I need to double my Artist Dates. Otherwise, my writing will become strained as I overfish my inner reservoir of images. Writing on multiple projects is not impossible, but it does take special care. Without such care, our writing becomes “thin.” It is my experience that multiple writing projects can leave one overtaxed.
It is best to write at several different times of day; Morning Pages in the morning, one project in the early afternoon, then perhaps a nap followed by work in the late afternoon or evening on the “extra” project. We need to be careful not to be greedy; after all, with daily writing, pages mount up swiftly.


6 Comments on "Is it possible to work on more than one project at a time?"

  1. This is something that has been clawing my mind since a few days. Thank you for the clarity Julia. I’m a huge follower of the The Artist’s Way! ❤️

  2. You’re advice is so valuable to me, Julia.

  3. Albert van Zyl says:

    Also a constant worry/circling thought for me. Thank you for your guidance

  4. Lisa Nixon Richard says:

    I never thought of additional artist dates to help when I am working on more time at writing. That is outstanding. Thank you!

  5. I too have a “writing” job – well, editing – plus my own writing, and now the Morning Pages.
    Increasing Artist Dates? Brilliant! That should keep the mind afloat!

  6. Thank you for the very clear answer to a question that I so often have had. One of the downfalls of writing is never feeling like one is doing quite enough. However, when I am religiously doing morning pages and engaged in a project, I do seem to find my footing more easily. I know when enough is enough. However, when I am unsure of my (as you called them) “marching orders,” that is when I start to feel like I can’t get quite enough done.

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