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!


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:
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