I had what I thought was a stroke of genius when I decided to start researching my next book while I finish up with Sacred Fire. Turns out there are a lot of advantages to working on two books at once, but there are also disadvantages.
Recently, I got stuck on a part in Sacred Fire I didn't know how to fix. The best thing for me was to take a step back and give myself some time to think about it, but that meant my whole day was shot.
I twiddled my thumbs trying to decide what to do when I remembered a book I got for Christmas, "A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau." I spent two fun-filled days reading that book, taking notes, making time lines, and when the two days were over, I finally decided what I wanted to do with Sacred Fire.
Even after going back to Sacred Fire, it's nice after a few long hours of revision to switch over to reading a book. (I think research is a million times easier than revision.) It gives variety to my day and makes it more productive.
The next time I sat down to work on Sacred Fire, all I could think about was Voodoo Queen.
The first book has taken buckets of my blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention five years of my life, and has caused me much frustration. The second, on the other hand, is new and shiny. Voodoo Queen and I don't have a history together. I can have a fresh start.
Starting my new book is more alluring than finishing my old one because it's my escape when times get tough. This is bad because I don't want to escape; I want to finish Sacred Fire and get it into the hands of an agent already.
Working on two books sometimes makes me feel like my head's going to explode. Most of the writing process takes place when your mind wanders - while doing dishes, driving, lying awake in bed. When I work on two books at once, my brain works twice as hard.
Do you sometimes work on two books at once, or do you strictly stick to one at a time?