Writing may be an art, but publishing is a business. A lot of people will tell you that. But, if you want to make a living writing, then writing is your business and you need to treat it that way.
Writing is a broad, broad field of work. On the freelance level, it includes novels, short stories, poetry, articles, non-fiction books, screenplays and plays, of course, but it also includes copywriting, letters, greeting cards and memorabilia, grant writing, legal writing and much, much more. If you want to write for a living, there likely is a combination of niches to market your work successfully and get paid well enough to support your lifestyle. But you have to be willing to work for it.
On my schedule for today, I have social media work, an essay, a few articles, two short stories, two novels, and that’s just for the love of it. I also have several resumes and cover letters, some business letters, marketing, proposals, and some legal work to do. This may seem more scattered than most writers, but that’s partly my work style. I tend to work intensely for relatively shorter bursts on a single project, then shift gears to another project, and keep doing that until my work day is done. But, even if you prefer to focus on a smaller set of concurrent projects, you will have many projects going for many different reasons, and most of these projects will have a different “feel” to it. For example, a cover letter and a sales letter are both a form of marketing and they’re both letters, but they feel very different.
There are many ways to track multiple, concurrent projects. I have a physical to-do list FranklinCovey style. I also make liberal use of Microsoft OneNote. This combination of one-line physical and multiple-page electronic works well for me. The trick is making sure my notes include all the pertinent information. I’m getting better at that part, but there’s still room for improvement.
If you want to make a living as a writer before your break out with a bankable best-seller, you will not to manage multiple projects of different styles and types concurrently. Are you prepared to do that?