Managing Multiple Publishing Projects

Can you handle more than one publishing project at a time, or do you have to be completely focused on one thing? I fall into the former group, actually thriving when other people might feel overwhelmed. And there's no reason to push yourself to that overwhelmed status in order to handle multiple projects. You just have to know how to set limits and work with a schedule.

In April I'll have two major publishing projects to pursue in addition to running my usual business. Here's what my plate will contain:

  1. First-round edits for The Query-Free Freelancer manuscript
  2. First draft of the first novel in a mystery series
  3. Blogging (with at least a half dozen active blogs)
  4. Work on three additional site launches tied to my fiction writing work
  5. Work on another site launch related to authors and book research
  6. Freelance client work

And of course there's always the networking, marketing, and administrative side of running a business. It will be a busy month. I have no doubt that some of you will have even crazier schedules than I will next month. And there are different ways of dealing with a large work load.

For me that means scheduling blocks of my time. While drafting my nonfiction book for example, I learned that I write best in that capacity between 5:00am and 8:00 am. So I would work on the book draft first thing in the morning -- before touching email, Twitter, my blogs, or anything else. I would reach my daily goal in two to three hours. Then I'd move on to client work. When that was finished I could focus on my own sites and blogs. Email, marketing, admin tasks, etc. usually came in between those larger time blocks. And for the most part I still finished work on time (noon) and could get back to enjoying that work-life balance I hold so dear.

For others it might mean working late on a regular basis until a project is finished. Or maybe you can flip between projects more frequently during the course of the day, maintaining focus far better than I could. We each have our own working styles. And if we identify what those are, we can manage a couple of publishing projects at the same time and even much more than that.

Out of curiosity, how many books or e-books do you generally work on at the same time? Does having projects in different phases matter for you? Do you run a business beyond those projects too? How do you get things done when the overall project load would otherwise be overwhelming? I know as I transition from writing nonfiction to fiction I'll have to reevaluate my schedule and find a way to adapt to the changes. So if anyone has any thoughts on that, I'd love to hear them too. Leave a comment below to share what's on your mind.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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