It’s probably not normal for an author to work on two books simultaneously, but I’m not known for doing things the normal way. Also, I never intended to work on two books at the same time because I didn’t initially have the ideas for both.
The first book has been in the works for over a year now, but it involves a great deal of research and note-taking. Two chapters in a year is about the pace I’ve been able to work so far. It wasn’t until I’d finished the first two chapters that I had the idea for the other book I’m working on. The only reason I’m pushing ahead with the second idea is that the writing goes much faster and is something I can make progress on in between other things.
It also means that for every two chapters I complete on the bigger project, I then have a conceptual basis for another book of devotionals. No matter how long the main book takes to write, I’ll have something else in the works from which I can get that sense of progress being made and instant gratification which makes it easier to keep going. With such a large project it’s easy for me to get kind of bogged down with it and then feel like no progress is being made, at which point it’s much easier to push it aside for something more exciting.
There’s something about having more than one goal in your sights at once. When you get a bit bored or discouraged pursuing one, you can put it on temporary hold and push towards the other one. And for me, that usually works to either refocus my energy on the first goal or to get me thinking about whatever’s got me stuck in a way that gets me through it. Stepping away from something and focusing in another direction is, I’ve found, a necessary step in the creative process.
Which, I think, applies to all areas of life.