Friday, April 8, 2011

Days 212 to 216 - Hi, I'm a writer, and I suffer from MPP

MPP. Multiple Project Paralysis. The bane of many a writer's existence.

I have three projects waiting for editing. I have four manuscripts that I've started, but not gone past about 4,000 words on. And yet when I sit down to work I can't think of what to do! I start writing, and my editing projects beckon. I start writing, and think there's not much point just piling more on my editing to-do list.

So I've come up with 4 Rules to help me decide what to work on:
(NB. This is based on my specific word goal and 5 year plan, so it may not work for you if you're more focussed on immediate publication.)

1) Is it editing?
  • If no --> Go to Question 2.
  • If yes --> Have you had a partial request from a pitch and want to fix it up?
    • If yes --> Get out your red pen baby!
    • If no --> Is your Critique Partner waiting on it?
      • If yes --> Edit. Don't keep the overworked and unpaid help hanging.
      • If no --> Is it for a competition ending in the next month?
        • If yes --> Do it. Gives you time for a beta reader.
        • If no --> It can wait. Go to Question 2.
2) Do you have a manuscript, let's call it Manuscript A, that you are working on for a competition?
  • If no --> Go to Question 3.
  • If yes --> is there another competition coming up sooner that needs you to work on Manuscript B?
    • If yes --> Work on Manuscript B.
    • If no --> Work on Manuscript A.
3) Is it your passion project - the thing that struck you in a flash of inspiration that you just can't put out of your head?
  • If yes --> Get writing!
  • If no --> Why not?
    • I don't have a passion project --> Go to Question 4.
    • Another MS is my passion project --> Go work on that then!
4) Make a very quick list of your current work-in-progress writing projects. Do you know how to play Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo?
  • If no ---> How on Earth did you ever manage to resolve anything as a child? The rules are here.
  • If yes ---> Random pick! Which ever manuscript you end on is the one you're working on. Get those fingers typing!
Don't ask how long I spent coming up with these rules instead of actually doing anything...

Word count - 682


  1. You created that complex bit of brilliance and still managed to get down 682 words?

    Have anything for envy paralysis?

  2. LOL. I want a very involved flow chart to stick on my wall.

  3. Love it. MPP is my new favorite acronym!