Thursday, August 13, 2009
Blog Chain - Multitasking
First of all, I’d like to thank the other blog chain members for inviting me to their group. I’m so excited to be a part of this!!
I’m the last writer in the chain this round, but be sure to check out Kate’s post before mine.
Terri asked the question,
Do you focus on one project at a time, or do you have many irons in the fire at any given moment?
I am obsessive in my single-mindedness. I’m a hobby freak and when I find something new I usually throw myself into said project head first. I’ve made jewelry, soaps and lotions; I’ve even knitted beanies (skull caps). And when I was involved in those projects, that’s pretty much all I did.
Writing was the only on and off hobby I’ve ever had. That is until last April. When I finally sat down, determined to write an entire novel, my previous obsessions were left in the dust. Laundry stayed dirty, dishes piled up in the sink, the world dissolved around me and my laptop became my universe. It’s a little better now than it was, but I have to work at peeling myself away.
The same goes with a writing project. Once I’ve committed to the story, that’s all I work on. New ideas don’t even occur to me while I’m focused on a WIP. It tends to leave me with a bit of downtime between novels, but if an idea were to grip me mid-project, I’d probably spontaneously combust. I don’t even sleep well while I’m working because I wake up in the middle of the night with entire character conversations playing out in my mind. Multi-tasking writing projects present me with the possibility that I might confuse the narrative voice, causing characters from different stories to bleed into one another. It’s hard enough to assign personality traits to each character in a book, let alone divide my creative energy between more than one story.
I wish I was a better multi-tasker, and I KNOW that my family wishes I was. I’ve written a couple of short stories and then there’s the occasional blog entry, but even those are things I have to force myself to do while I’m actively engrossed in a WIP. I’m taking baby steps toward allowing my mind to wander. The benefit would be less down-time between projects or at the very least a new one would be queued up by the time I finish a current one. But I have faced the fact that I am OCD about writing, and I’m okay with it!
How about you? Do you see a single story through to the end, or is your WIP folder packed to overflowing with the beginnings of your new obsession? Let me know.