Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One Track Mind

Son: Mom, could you please make me a sandwich? (He's 14 and always says please AND thank-you. Color me proud)

Me: Sure.

(30 minutes later)

Son: Uh, Mom, were you going to make me a sandwich?

Me: Crap. Sorry, I got sidetracked. Hang on a sec.

(an hour later)

Son: Mom...

Me: CRAP! *runs to kitchen and throws open cupboards*

Okay, so I'm easily sidetracked. I get tunnel vision. Which is why I'm not a super impressive, on the spot, like clockwork blogger. When something grabs my attention, it latches on like a Pit bull and doesn't let go. If I'm reading a good book... Laundry? What's that? Dirty dishes? They'll be there tomorrow. Dinner? Seriously, family? You guys are actually hungry? For food? When I'm writing, it's worse and since I've now got things like deadlines to think about, I'm obsessed.

My characters have taken up permanent residence in my head. I think about story lines for subsequent books and my current WIP most of the day. I dream about it at night. I wake up with narrative floating around in my head. Aside from the occasional impulse to play Bejeweled Blitz for two (or ten) hours, I've pretty much got one thing on the brain. It's not a bad thing, though. Sure, my house looks like it's been fire-bombed and and the dogs and cat are starting to watch me as if they're concerned. My single-mindedness has allowed my creativity to take over and I'm seeing my first book morph into an actual series. I'd worried, at first, that I was a one-trick pony. That nothing could compare to that initial idea, book numero uno. But thanks to my crit partners, family, and friends who don't mind listening to me ramble for hours about these imaginary people, I have a ideas coming out of the woodwork. My three ideas have morphed into six, and a standalone spin off.

If I were a multi-tasker, the type of person who could write, read, clean house, do dishes, laundry, and dinner all while making sandwiches, I wonder... would the ideas be flowing? Could I live in this imaginary world with these imaginary people and orchestrate their fates with such a clear vision?

How about you guys? Are you super-duper multi-taskers who don't forget to make their son's sandwiches? Or do you have a one track mind?


C. N. Nevets said...

I actually am known far and wide as a great multi-tasker, but when I'm writing fiction that goes entirely out the window. My wife has learned to expect my, "Yep, just a minute, let me finish this paragraph," to turn into, "Um, give me an hour or two, because I think I have to get through the next three chapters while I'm hot."

WindyA said...

I think I fall in between. Sheer survival for me depends on my ability to multi-task, but I do also go into the zone sometimes, land on that one-track and all else falls away.

Your poor hungry son.

Amanda said...

I can totally relate, C.N. I've been known to say, "Guys, I HAVE to meet my word goal. Can you just give me a hour or two?" :)

And Windy, LAUGHING right now! You've heard the kiddo's grumblings firsthand! He's a growing boy, he needs his food!

Cole Gibsen said...

I am the same! Only, maybe my tunnel vision doesn't let me lose track so much as I get "selective" hearing. ;)

Stephanie McGee said...

Fortunately, I have no one around to answer to. I can be one-track and it only affects myself and my homework. Yeah it'd be nice to have a built-in support system, but it's kinda nice to be my own boss.

Sigh. The grass is always greener, eh?

Lydia Kang said...

I am a superb multitasker. However, I am not so superb at completing my "multi-tasks" well, ha ha!
Therein lies the problem I guess.

Anonymous said...

Certainly, I end up multi-tasking--I think it's just how life is. BUT, I like to focus on one thing at a time, or I get too frazzled, LOL!

Suzyhayze said...

You know what I'd say:

"Sure! Go make your own dern sandwich! Are yer fingers broke, son?"

Hee hee.