Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Multitasking Fail

Hello, everyone!

I've been really bad about keeping up to date on the blog, and really bad about keeping up to date on everything else, too. I've realized something about myself this week that's helped me get back on schedule, and feel less guilty about letting some things go.

I am not very good at multitasking.

To illustrate the point:

The other morning, I had my phone in one hand and my empty coffee cup in the other. I went into the kitchen for a refill, because clearly I needed it badly. Both hands were occupied, and I had to make a critical decision: What do I put down in order to open the fridge and get the cream? Well, my caffeine deprived brain thought, I'll put the phone down! I'm getting coffee, so I'll certainly need to keep hold of the mug. I put the phone down somewhere close to hand, got the cream, refilled the mug, and put the cream away. And then I couldn't find the phone.

I looked everywhere. I even recruited a minion to assist in the search. We sent texts from Helper Monkey's phone so we could listen for the bleep. We could hear it, but we couldn't see the darned thing anywhere. Finally, after five minutes of frantic searching (including looking inside the fridge, to no avail), I received an email to my author account, which in addition to chiming like a text message starts a green light flashing. THANK YOU JESSA! I saw the light!

I'd put it down in the ice/water dispenser in the freezer door.

If I can't even remember where I put my phone while I make a cup of coffee, something that's practically attached to my hand all day long, how am I supposed to flip back and forth between reading, writing, critiquing, writing, keeping up with my first world issues, writing, and writing? I've been biting my nails about the giant pile of books I want to read, the multiple critiques I've promised to others, the manuscript I promised myself I'd finish the draft of by the end of December but I'm still writing, and everything else I'm supposed to be doing to keep my family fed, sheltered, and generally well cared for. There is no way I can keep up with everything, and I've decided to try a new approach. Well, I'm also spending a lot less time on twitter, but everything has its downsides. In addition to tweeting less, I swear:

I am going to finish this draft.

Then, and only then, am I going to go to the critique notes I've received on the first book. I just know if I let myself get sucked into those, this draft will fall by the wayside yet again. I've never taken this long to write a first draft, and it's destroying my morale as a writer. For my own sanity, I have to finish it. And soon.

Then I will read all the promised words for everyone else.

Then I will let myself enjoy a published novel.

Then I will start drafting the new secret project that's been bubbling around in my brain since October.

I've been trying to switch back and forth between critiquing and writing for too long. I need a vacation from something, and I've decided to stop feeling guilty about taking care of my own needs. If I don't finish this draft, I have a horrible fear that I'll never be able to finish another. I will forever be a sad, unmotivated little hack who couldn't finish the story. I know that's not true, but that's my biggest fear.

So now I go off to conquer my own personal dragons. Semi-literally, since the MS that's kicking my butt right now is about dragons....


  1. I'll be sure to yell at you (nicely) if you stray from your righteous path.

    1. Thanks! I'm counting on it! *yells at self for replying to comments instead of writing* *it's a coffee break! I deserve coffee breaks still! And I've written 600 words in the interim!*

  2. It's so true, but we need to work on our OWN projects before helping other people's. If there isn't time for both we *should* do our own and not feel guilty about it. <--ironic since you critted my work during that time. *sheepish grin*

    1. I will always make time for emergency crits for super-important agenty-related things. I have priorities, high among which is making sure I can help my friends get published, too! :D

  3. A saying that I aim toward (but don't always reach): For every yes, there should be a no.


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