[Brandon] how are you going to finish all this?
The only reasonable answer is the one that others have pointed out, unfortunately: I won't.
Most of the ideas I work on don't come to fruition. Others simmer for many years (like Skyward did.) My only real promise is that I'll make reasonable progress on the mainline cosmere books. Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, Dragonsteel. Even there, I can't say for certain if projects like the Threnody novel or the Mistborn cyberpunk will end up being written or not.
It must feel strange knowing that, right? Having your whole life’s work mapped out and feeling that you won’t finish all of it?
A little? But I realized long, long ago that I'd have more ideas than time to write them--and made peace with that.
There's also a kind of "natural selection" philosophy going on here. If an idea (like Skyward) manages to persist long enough, fight out the other ideas for a slot at the writing table, and actually turn into a book--well, those are the ideas that deserve to get written.
For what it's worth, I think you'll finish it all (and more) without a problem. And I fixed version 2 of the chart so the projected timeline isn't so exaggerated and it's much less depressing. And as long as you enjoy writing and keep cranking books out, I promise to buy every one - I'm planning to have an entire wall of just Sanderson books.
Well, thank you very much! I've been thinking a lot about this lately, though. I've been aware lately that I'm going to have to let more and more side projects slide away, an I'm finding ways to do it, so that I can keep my attention on making certain I finish my goals.
Well I think you've made a great compromise with the graphic novels for example - it's great to be able have that as canon without having to wait 30 years for everything else to be cleared out - but we still have hope that if you finish everything early there's a possibility of a prose version someday. And with your non-cosmere ideas like Adamant and Alcatraz it's great that you are collaborating with others to get things done. I don't know how much creative control you'd want to cede of the Cosmere, but you could always consider letting other authors play around in 1940-ish or cyberpunk Scadrial for example. Also, you could consider fan-sourcing some projects. Maybe it's a stretch, but if you held some contests for the more artistically talented fans, you might be able to collect enough submissions that match your vision to be able to build the worldbook. Or you could publicly release the script for Birthright or some other idea, and fans could try to build an open source video game.
Yeah, I've been pushing myself to let some non-cosmere ideas (like the Apocalypse Guard rewrite) to do as collaborations, to get them out of my system.
You make some interesting suggestions with fans. We're reaching an era where that sort of thing is increasingly plausible.