I hate that word. Multitasking. So very blerky. I prolly feel that way because I’m really crap at it. Really crap.
Like this weekend I’m trying to work on two different essays, the lodger novel, and also on a short story. Not to mention all the admin (correspondence, shopping, cooking, cleaning, organising, blah blah blah).
I’m trying to get as much stuff out of the way before I get The Ultimate Fairy ed letter, which will come in the next week or so. That way I’ll have oodles of time (due date’s the middle of September) for the rewrite. I want to make it shiny shiny shiny!
Most especially I want to have a solid chunk of the new novel so that coming back to it won’t break my brain. I don’t know about other writers but I much prefer to write one complete draft of a novel before beginning the next. I hate leaving things unfinished. Not to mention that it’s really hard to keep two big novel worlds in your head at the same time. It is for me anyways.
Right now I’m nowhere near a complete draft of the Lodger (hmmm, the working title needs work, doesn’t it?) so that when I return it’ll only to take a few days (if I’m lucky) to figure out what I was thinking way back then and who the hell all the characters are. If I’ve barely got a few thousand words then there’s not a lot for me to get back into.
I cannot write more than one novel at the same time.
I’m discovering that I can’t write a short story and a novel at the same time. I can barely work on a short story and figure out what to make for dinner. The best writing multi-tasking I can manage is one essay and one novel. On account of essays are not much like stories or novels thus they require different parts of the brain. (It’s like your dessert stomach being different from the rest of your stomach.) But two essays at once? Too hard.
My other multi-tasking impairments are laziness and being very easily distractable.
Thus this weekend I’ve managed to partly re-write a (very short) essay, write half of a new (and equally short) one, make dinner, re-organise my sock drawer (truly—it was a mess!), blog three times (this will be the third), take a stab at catching up on email (then stopped after a while depressed at the impossibility of ever doing so) and update my website (a tiny bit). I also opened the short story and Lodger documents and perused them. No new words were added to either.
But I’ve read many books, much manga, watched several episodes of The Wire and a fair few articles on and off line. (None of them related to either of the essays I’m writing.)
I feel discombobulated and disjointed and feel that I’ve lost my way.
I am now closing all documents other than the essay due Monday. I am even turning the intramanets off. When I have finished and sent off the essay—and only then—I will turn to the next pressing document. I will then work on nothing but it for a bit before turning to the next one. Otherwise nothing will get done.
So successful multitaskers do you have any tips for me? I have no children, no day job, no excuses for being this crap. I know people with children and day jobs and many other responsibilities who are vastly more productive (to the tune of two or more books a year) than I am. How do they do it? Help!