Two books at once

I am writing and re-writing my work. We all do this, and for me, it is an essential part of the process of proving: Allowing a work to lie fallow for a time, then going back to it, in a different mood, with new thoughts, and a more reader-like, objective view. And for most of last year, particularly because I’ve been busy with loads of other stuff, I’ve been writing one work, one book, to get it finished, I said to myself. Writing one book does, admittedly, help us to keep all our plot lines and timings internally consistent. And it is good to make a virtue of finishing a book.

But, remembering that enjoyment and motivation are what this writing is all about, I have to admit that singledom is not how I work best. Though I find it takes me quite a long time to feel that any piece of writing has reached its best – I suspect at eighteen months to two years – I don’t thrive when I’m writing only one book. Call me faithless, call me flirty…. but

Ideally – as I did when I was writing Trapped I like to write two books at once; I need another work in the background, so that I have a kind of ‘double weave’ arrangement going on. For me, that adds flavour and depth to both works, in different ways.

When writing and editing Trapped I also had Happiness Matters on the go, which actually motivated me, adding ‘cross-fertilisation’ rewards, and helping me to take both tasks more seriously, and in the best spirit. It’s hard to explain, but two books make the whole adventure more real, and I’m less hung up – in all the wrong ways – on the one project that has all of my current attention.

It’s as if, with only one to focus on, the tone gets too serious and pedantic. Does anyone else find themselves needing two books to work on, or am I unusual in that way?

Double weave takes longer, but for me, it’s stronger.

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