One task at a time?
That’s almost unheard of! Unacceptable! A waste of time!
Do I agree? No. Not really. I believe in living in the moment. I believe in experience. In one thing at a time.
But, the real question is do I multitask? Yes, I do. All the time. In fact, I am almost never doing just one thing at a time. I can’t–I’m a mom of 3. If I did one thing at a time we wouldn’t make it out of pyjamas before noon.
Truthfully, I can’t blame it all on my kids. I have a lot I want to accomplish, and one day just isn’t enough. So, I create hours by synching them together.
Does it work? Yes, I think it does. I can’t see a way around it, actually. The danger, for me, lies it letting too much of life get done by rote. But that is not the nature of this post.
One place I haven’t multitasked in a long time is writing. I try to focus on one element, or even multiple layers at a time, but all in ONE work. Working on more than one piece felt too scary, too dangerous. Would I lose some of my connection with my WIP? How could I focus on more than one world at a time? Would my voices cross from one novel into the other? Would thematic elements shuffle? Would details get lost? And so on; you get the idea. So for the last six months or so I’ve been focused solely on editing one work.
While the process is going well, and I love it most of the time, a part of me finds this very painful. I love to draft, and not having drafted anything in all this time is driving me nuts! My brain is on overdrive, creating story after story, character after character. Some of them return again and again, others disappear after a brief appearance.
I ignore them, scared to lose myself in them. I fear a new draft would result in my becoming oblivious to my current WIP. But, I have begun to consider to let myself write a draft. If only to quiet myself, so that I can focus on my editing. Perhaps a set amount of free-writing time each day? But, can I be focused enough to turn away from what I will begin writing, so that my current WIP does not suffer?
Maybe I am fooling myself that I can do this. Just the thought of sitting down to write a new drafts gets my blood flowing, and my brain immediately goes into that trance like state of immersion where everything is created. And I haven’t even begun.
I ask you: Do you ever work at two different pieces at the same time? Have you been succesful doing this?