I have been completely focused on my current WIP since January. I find that that is the best way to write, for me at least. I guess I have a one track mind, I tend to be able to focus on only one storyline at a time. I'm always amazed when I see writers who have three or four WIPs going on at one time. My brain just does not compute!
That said, over the weekend I started thinking about my WIP that's currently on hold. I began writing it in late summer 2008. I got engaged in September 2008, so most my energy went into wedding planning and not into writing. I've picked it up here and there, but I shelved it permanently when I started writing Love at the End of the World.
Saturday night I was at my parent's house and I couldn't sleep, so I grabbed my ipod. I ended up on the playlist for the WIP (tentatively titled Obscura) and ideas started coming to me. Thankfully, I remembered a lot of previous ideas I'd had (this is something of a feat for me, as I have the short-term memory of a goldfish) and now I'm suddenly inspired to pick up where I left off. This is a harder book to write, as it's a time travel novel, and most of the action is set in 1920's Washington, DC. I tend to detest research, I find it ruins the flow of my writing. I am horrible that way, I'll be writing, and come to a place where I want to include a real landmark, and I'm not sure if it was there in 1924. So, instead of just pushing forward and researching later, I get sidetracked. So that's difficult, and frankly, writing about time travel is also difficult. I did pick up this book which is helpful, but not exactly an easy read. I'm a bit of a snob about time travel (I'd want to be more Connie Willis less Audrey Niffenegger-don't get me wrong, I loved the Time Traveler's Wife, but in my opinion the time travel aspect is off in parts) so if I'm going to write a time travel novel, I want to get it right.
So, now I'm debating if I want to work on the "Damn Historical Novel" (as Jackson Pearce would say) in addition to my current WIP. I've never written this way, so I'm not sure if it'll work for me, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try, especially since writing Obscura is probably going to be more slow going than Love at the End of the World.
Do any of you write more than one novel at a time? If so, do you have any tips?