Thursdays are an important day of the week. Why? Because many of us look at Thursday as a “in the way” day. It’s just past Wednesday which is our half way point, something to be happy about, and just before Friday, our end of the week – whoo hoo it’s the weekend day. Thursday just sort of sits there…mocking us. So I decided to make Thursday good for something. We are going to call it our “stop it” day. On Thursdays we, as writers, will look at some things that we, as writers, should stop doing. Today we kick this off with NOT multitasking.
We live in a world that runs at 100 mph every day, all day. If you aren’t’ careful your writing will get lost in the fast lane. I personally have to schedule every little thing during the week because if I don’t I will lose my writing time first. Between taking the kids to school, running errands and dealing with all of the things that working from home entails there are some days when I wish I had an outside job. (Trust me, I got more done then) When multitasking first because “a thing” I gave it a try and realized very quickly that doing multiple things at once often meant not completing anything at all.
As a writer we need to be all in when we are writing. There simply is no way to write a story where you have to create a whole world while taking phone calls, doing the dishes, babysitting the grandkids and planning dinner…there are wayyyyyyy to many things involved in doing all those things at once. When I was a kid (back in the wagon wheel days as my kids would say) there was this little poem going around about being in love, it was called “All Because You Kissed Me Goodnight”. It went like this:
I climbed the door
And opened the stairs
I said my pajamas
And put on my prayers
Then turned off my bed
And crawled into the light
All because you kissed me good-night
Next morning, I woke
And scrambled my shoes
Polished my eggs and
Toasted the news
I couldn’t tell my left from right
All cause you kissed me good-night.
This isn’t the whole poem and there appears to be no name on it to allow for credit but it is very indicative of how I often feel after a bout of multitasking. The act of doing so confuses my brain and before I know it I am scrambling my shoes. I literally have to write and do nothing else or I fail at it all.
Yes I know that the world is pushing up all to get more things done faster and there is a lot of pressure to “get it done” but you have to ask yourself…do I want to get it done fast, or do I want to get it done right? Here’s the funny thing for me…I remember making it through the first 50 years of my life without a sense of urgency all the time. I have no idea when exactly we decided, as a society, that we all had to be in such a hurry all the time; we don’t. As my grandmother used to say, eventually it will all get done, maybe not to everyone else’s liking and time table but, it will get done.
Folks, if you are multitasking…stop it! Focus on the work, finish the section you are on and then move on to the next thing. Trying to do it all at once will not make you successful…it will only make you tired.
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