The other day, I wrote that I was having trouble juggling more than one project at a time. I said it wasn't going as smoothly as I had hoped. Writing is an art, and for me it requires a lot of mental energy. Writing is especially draining if I write by hand. 500 words in and I'm ready for a nap or at least just sit and stare at something on Netflix for a while. So it seems like working on a second project is impossible.
But I was telling my friend Ryan that this is something I want to be good at. I'm still going to try and work on more than one project at a time. This may take some experimentation, but I will make it work. So I've tried alternating days on my projects (which works, I'm just not always excited about starting work on the project that's not going as well) and I've tried planning zombie book first, then writing Ivy long hand. (I don't get as many words done on Ivy, but I do get work done.)
The reason I'm so stubborn about this is because of the vision I have for my future as a writer. I picture myself with a space of my own (not having to retreat to the bedroom with a notebook and pen, or sitting on the couch with my laptop, but a real desk where things don't move when I put them down). My future writer-self is professional and can always handle a deadline with finesse. And if the muse wants to try something other than what I'm on contract for, I want to be able to write it.
The thing is, I want to be professional, but still be able to say to my future agent, "I have this project I've been working on. Tell me what you think."
I haven't told many people this, but I have a sci-fi short story swimming around in my head. I don't write sci-fi and it would be difficult to market it alongside my other work. But I treasure the freedom I have that allows me to write it (should I so choose).
So, for all you writers out there, what does freedom mean to you? What would you hate to lose, once you sold to a publisher?