What should I choose to write when I have time to write?
I know, silly question, since I never really have time to write. Instead, I make time to write, and I usually have something in mind when I do so. But still, I have several works in progress, and when I do make time for it, it never seems to turn out as I'd planned.
Some seasoned authors say I should only write on one work at a time. Do one, draft it, edit it, revise it, finish it, wrap it up into a pretty bow-spangled package, and fulfill whatever exit strategy (self pub, submit to agents, put it on your blog, decorate the walls with it, whatever) you have in mind, then move on to work-in-progress number two.
I know what you're thinking, and I agree--hey, if the successful folks are doing it such-and-such way, then I need to do it that way too. Just like how the successful authors all outline their works before they write the draft--oh, wait, no, some successful authors do, and others don't. Maybe it's like how the successful fantasy authors all map out their entire world before starting to--oh, no, that's not an everybody rule either.
I guess no matter how I do this crazy writing thing, I'm'a gonna do it just like somebody, while at the same time I'm'a gonna do it the way somebody else says not to. Granted, that shouldn't surprise anybody who's ever studied the more general form of authorpreneurship. It did surprise me way back during my MBA courses, in fact, when I found that for every "always do xxxx to build your company" there was somebody who had successfully done the opposite.
So back to the original question. What should I choose to write when I sit down to write? The question plagues me often, as I currently have no fewer than three instances of Scrivener and one of Microsoft Word open on my desktop. Each has a different document. Matter of fact, the four different documents represent four different genres. That, and there's a fifth out there that's just in Microsoft Word notes form.
My lovely bride has been after me to finish the Elf Queen book that's open in Instance #1 of Scrivener. Problem is, it's at a point in the story where something major is going to happen, and to be honest, I'm not entirely certain what that's going to be. Now, that's the book that I generally sit down to write, as I'm sure that if I just start writing it I'll figure it out, but the problem is that when I look at it to start writing, my "muse" messes with me. All of a sudden the next scene of another story will flash before my eyes, and I'll flip over to another document to put that on paper.
Thus it is that I'm nearly halfway done with Professor Kinder (sci fi novel). Yes, the name sucks, but I haven't come up with anything better yet. Meanwhile I'm 2/3 of the way done with the first revision of the Long, Winding Road, my mostly-true tale of adventures along the Alaska Highway. I'm a bit over 1/3 of the way done with the Elf Queen book. And, over there in the corner in Microsoft Word sits the used-to-be-short story in an adult genre that has been awfully fun to write as it snakes around into different situations.
Hey, I'll finish something sometime soon, I promise. But I have to write what my muse tells me to write.
Is your muse better behaved than mine?