You know when they say “Don’t Multi-task?”
Yeah, don’t do what I did.
The last few weeks have been…interesting.
You may remember I changed my production schedule around because I felt like I was in a rut, creatively speaking. I sorted things out so that I could dabble in another genre after I got my main writing tasks for the day done.
I gotta tell you, it was a grand two weeks while I played in one of my favourite genres. Only, things started getting, well, serious. I’m now committed to a whole series, and I’m well into the first draft of the first book.
How that happened, I’m not quite sure. I guess I can’t play with writing even when I am.
My bread-winning genre, romance, though, started looking even more seedy and pedestrian…which is bad, because I must write those to keep the lights on.
I tried pure discipline. Just sit down and get ‘er done.
Nope, didn’t work. Well, not all the time. Because that shiny object over there looked far more interesting…
What finally tipped me into figuring out what was going on was a tiny voice that murmured each morning as I sat at the keyboard, pointing out that three hours wasn’t nearly enough time to get anything serious done.
Time was, when I was working the day job, three solid hours to write would have been a gift from the stars.
That alerted me that my lizard brain was stuck on something, so I journaled it out and came to the conclusion that:
- I like writing in six hour stints. It isn’t a stretch for me, and I can get some serious work done.
- Three hours wasn’t enough time to make me feel like I was making progress on the book.
- And the most critical point: I had unintentionally fallen into the trap of multi-tasking.
That last point was the one that made me sit up and blink, because it snuck up on me. But that’s where I had ended up: trying to give equal attention to two completely different creative tasks, and being tugged by both and not serving either very well.
They say, with reason, that multi-tasking doesn’t work. I can affirm that when it comes to creative projects, it absolutely does not work. Not for me.
I spent last Sunday reworking the production and writing schedule once more–hopefully for the last time for a good long while. This time, I’m concentrating on one book at a time, and also including the other genre in my production schedule.
So I get to write both genres…just one at a time.
And it is working, too. I’ve had an enormously productive week so far, and enjoyed the work very much, too. No more tugging between books.
Multi–tasking is a trap not just for chores you mindlessly grind through. You can also fall into the trap of trying to multi-task for highly creative work…and find it equally as effective there, too.