Thursday, April 16, 2009

Multi-Task? Me?

Back in my university days, I was the Queen of Multi-Tasking (if I do say so myself). I was a member of the university track team, the president of my sorority (yes, I know, laugh if you must) and had a part-time job in my last year. Not to mention my near-obsession with getting good marks (Type A and all that). I juggled everything without even thinking about it.

--End bragging--

I look back at my former self with awe, because now that I'm writing full-time I find my multi-tasking abilities have deserted me. I used to be able to go from running in a track meet, to studying for a Spanish exam, to chairing a meeting -- all with no problem. Now I can barely switch between two projects! Whatever has happened to me?

I like to think it's not me, it's the writing. Creating is all-absorbing, not to mention tiring. It's hard to immerse yourself so fully in one world, pull out to another, and then dip a toe back in. I'm finding I'm not able to dip a toe. I need to spend a few hours -- at least -- to do anything productive.

I admire those writers who can edit multiple projects at a time. But multi-tasking, for me, is not an option. I'd love to hear from other writers. Do you work on lots of different projects at the same time? Do tell!

8 comments:

Kristy Colley said...

Yikes. I've tried.

And failed.

Quality always seems to take the backseat. It becomes a numbers game.

Mark Chadbourn said...

Yes, I'm proofing one book, writing another, and finishing up the final draft of a TV script. If you write full-time, you don't have much choice, unfortunately!

Marsha said...

I guess I should suck it up. I need to multi-task!

Michael Pokocky said...

Glad you joined me on twitter either through @michaelpokocky &/or @thecalvenigroup. You are in London alone and writing and your background is Ottawa and Montreal! Well I am from Port Hope and now live just south of Mont Tremblant is Sainte-Adele. Hope you're enjoying the cafe's there and writing writing writing. Here's a way cool guy writer to follow; he's just so you know down to earth, but man is he awesome: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/
Kindest,
Michael
diarist & author

Karen van Wyk said...

Oh boy, Marsha, do I ever know what you mean. I started writing my second novel as soon as I had finished writing my first.

Trouble is, I still had to edit the first - nightmare.

Nixy Valentine said...

I can't compose on more than one project at a time, but I do find lately I'm tweaking and polishing one as I get feedback from agents & editors, and then will compose on another.

What I tend to do is read the previous 5-10 pages before I start composing to get me back into the proper voice.

My WIPs have VASTLY different voices, which makes it all the more challenging!

So, yes, I can do those two, but I can't do those two AND do laundry, it seems. =)

Nancy J. Parra said...

I agree- multitasking is getting harder with each passing year-hard to slip from one world to another.

Worse yet to get pulled out by barking dogs and lawnmowers! :)

KimB said...

I used to multitask too. Now I super-multitask. Working full time, raise 3 kids (and everything that goes with them), and go to school. I have no choice.

BTW, it's a women's FRATERNITY woman!!! LOL