Monday, January 16, 2012

Multitasking

And I don't mean doing the laundry while you're checking email.

As a writer, I've always focused on one project at a time. Write something, finish it, move on to something else.

The further I get into my career as a writer, the more I realize that I need to multitask. Multiple projects need attention--at the same time. ::gasp::

Fiction that I'd like to get published before the next millennium and non fiction work-for-hire projects that have real deadlines--need to get equal billing. Couple those with real life, and volunteer positions with NESCBWI and Girl Scouts. Add the day job, and stir. There's a lot going on. No wonder my house looks like a mess. I think my child and husband might be in there somewhere, I saw them both a minute ago.

The real question is how. How can I change the way I've always done things and shift. Make lists? Set deadlines? Get up at 3 a.m.? (yeah, um, no.) It all needs to get done, and everything is important.

I don't have the answer--just asking the question. Do you multitask? And if you do, how do you do multitask?

9 comments:

inluvwithwords said...

Good question. I don't have the answer. Mostly, I steal time away from housework and cooking. It's not the best plan. And eventually, I will have to break out the vacuum.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I write, listen to music, and watch TV at the same time, but I don't think that's the solution you seek!

Anna Staniszewski said...

It can be really hard to switch back and forth between different projects, different responsibilities, etc. What I've found has helped me is setting aside specific times for activities. So I might plan to spend two days revising and the following two days drafting, for example. Planning things out beforehand helps me to switch gears more easily.

Laura Pauling said...

Like Anna said. Maybe a few days for the wfh since you have deadlines and the other days for your fiction. And then maybe the volunteer stuff at night since it doesn't require as many brain cells?

Good luck!

Alicia Gregoire said...

That type of multitasking is hard. I like Anna's suggestion a lot. One day I should try that. Right now, I find it hard to switch gears mid-project.

Heather said...

The not enough hours in the day dilemma. I love my lists to help stay organized, if I have it written down, I don't have to hold it in my overloaded head.

Kristine Asselin said...

I was hoping someone would have a magic pill. LOL. Well, at least today I hit my goal of 12K words out of 14.5K for the WFH project. I really should make lists and look at a calendar to plot the next few months.

Sophia Chang said...

I'm actually working on going to bed by 3 am - I'm an extreme night owl.

Heather Kelly said...

Let me know if you find the secret--I'm a monogamous writer! Wish I could cheat on my manuscript sometime!