I was wondering, how many books do authors write at the same time? I usually try to focus on one project at a time, but I sometimes get inspiration for something else and want to write something inspired from that. I still want to write Project 1 but Project 2 is already developing in my mind and I don't want to let go of it just because I'm already writing something else that is completely different.

Is it okay to divide your attention between two or more projects or stay focused on just one? Is it common for authors to be working on one project, then have an idea for a new one and start working on that one, even though they haven't finished the first one?

Hope this is clear.

  • 1
    Ok according to whom? [How many books authors write at the same time.]
    – Lambie
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 16:04
  • 1
    This is perfectly fine for non-fiction writing. When one project gets stuck for some reason, you switch your gears and work on another one. For the fiction writing, conditions like "inspiration" are more important. It may be very tempting to switch from Project 1 to Project 2, but then returning to Project 1 can be very difficult.
    – Alexander
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 16:42
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    My process is percolating, so I have ideas floating around all the time. Outlining is okay, and sometimes it's good to set something down for a month to percolate. For writing, though, stick to one.
    – DWKraus
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 16:56
  • personally i have 3 WIPs, but 2 are on hiatus. Commented May 5, 2021 at 17:47
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    I have good experience adding the idea to the outline of the other project. That way the idea stops floating in my head without getting lost.
    – nwp
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 10:04

3 Answers 3


Many authors write one book at a time. The advantage to this is finishing them. Many writers -- or would-be writers -- report trouble finishing because the new project always looks more charming, at least before you start writing on it. (The writers often speak of it in the past tense.)

OTOH, some find that switching between projects helps keep them fresh. It lets them leave a problem alone so they can give it a fresh look and still keep on writing. So you can certainly try it, but you do have to remember to keep going back. If you find that project 3 pops up when you are working on project 2, you have to remember to resist the sparkly new project and go on with the work that has to be done.


To be honest, it's all up to you. How many books do you think you can handle writing at a time? Figure that out and try it, and if it doesn't work out than you can just try less, continue doing that until you find an amount that's easily manageable for you.

However, you asked a question, so I'll answer it. I know I hate it when people don't answer my question so here you go!

If I'm not mistaken, most professional authors work on around two or three books at a time, depending on the author, that number may go up or down. I'm sure there's an author out there who writes five or six books at a time, but the average amount would be two or three. I'm currently working on two, and have an idea set aside for when I'm done. That's another thing I'd suggest doing. After finding the perfect amount for you, you can go and write an outline of any other ideas you might have, and come back to them later. However, it's all about balance, you've got to make sure you switch back and forth, don't focus on one too much more than the other, or you'll (I'm not sure if this is going to make sense) become rusty at writing the other one, like you forget exactly how to write in that style or as that character.


Two books or more projects may be a good idea. If you have a replenishing bank of ideas and a robot supply of stamia.

Let start with the cons:

  • You may crack under pressure
  • Ideas for idea number one are going to expired soon if you don't come back to it.
  • On page 10, you would likely lose interest.

Inspiration is good but an overdose of it could get you stuck. Not all those callings from the pages are necessarily good and putting your effort into one book is already hard enough, juggling two might be a bit overkill.

One good thing is that if you have the capability to actually manage to go back and forth, you have a wider insight into your writings. Just don't push your luck to try to add more than two.

Also, to write at the same time, split the clock. Make sure that you are caring for your words garden correctly so both your books could grow at the same pace.

  • I apologize for sounding depressed on the bullets. Commented May 7, 2021 at 14:12

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