Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blog Chain: Multi-tasking

First off, I'd like to thank the lovely ladies of the blog chain for inviting me to be a part of the chain. I hope I do well.

Terri started this chain with the question: Do you focus on one project at a time, or do you have many irons in the fire at any given moment?

Yesterday we got to hear Elky's (or would you rather Michelle?) awesome take on this, and be sure to visit my Awesome Agent-mate Senshi's (Cole) answer tomorrow!

While it's difficult for me to settle down and pick a project from the millions that buzz around my brain and keep my from sleeping, once I put my head down and start to work, I become so focused that I can't even think about writing another book. It's been a real challenge recently to have to deal with revisions for The Deathday Letter because every time I get them I have to switch gears. Once I lose my focus on a WIP I have a really difficult time going back. This process has led to more than one aborted novel.

When I'm not focused on a novel, I'm pretty much a freak. I usually try to develop as many ideas as I can so that I always have a treasure trove to plunder should my idea well run dry. In that respect I usually have more irons in the fire than I can sanely manage. Ask my poor agent. Just when he thinks he knows where I'm at with a story I've jumped ship and moved on to another idea.

I compare it to me going into an electronic store. When I go to Best Buy, I usually go in with one thing in mind. I need a camera. When I get there, though, my head spins around. The possibilities are limitless. Oh the things I can do! A five minute trip turns into an hour, then two hours, as I play with all the shiny toys. Eventually, though, I have to wander over to the camera section and start realistically deciding what I want. Then, just when you think I'm going to get a nice digital camera, I end up at the register with a flat screen plasma TV and a Wii. But man is that plasma TV awesome.

It's also like this post: I began talking about multi-tasking and now I want a new TV.

So to close, I think it's good to cultivate a lot of ideas so that you have options, but when it comes time to put butt to seat and fingers to keys, I'm a one WIP man.

Don't forget to stop by Cole's blog tomorrow :)

And feel free to let me know what you guys think of all this? Do you work on one thing at a time or are you like that crazy, creepy ball-juggling Palm Pre commercial girl? Speak up in the comments.


  1. Lol, yes, I have those problems, too. Too many projects at once makes me lose focus on the one I really want to dedicate myself too. Great post!

  2. Your Best Buy analogy reminds me of the inside of my head. I can only focus on one project at a time by yelling at myself to do so.

  3. Welcome to the Blog Chain!

    It sounds like writing time is like money; it has to be budgeted so it's not wasted.

  4. Welcome to the chain and LOL on the whole glazed eye while at Best Buy story - we definitely have our first guy on the chain;)

    Also love the idea of having a "treasure trove" of ideas - I have a hard time coming up with an idea that I can really fall in love with enough to make it through a whole novel with, so the idea of having a whole collection of them sounds marvelous!

  5. wonderful first post and welcome to the chain!! (and I'm good with either Elky or Michelle) :D

    Your trips to Best Buy remind me of my "5 minute" pit stops at Walmart to grab a gallon of milk. A few hours (and a couple hundred dollars later) I walk out with a ton of stuff...and have generally forgotten the milk :D

    I have had times where too many irons in the fire has caused a novel to die a neglected death...which is why I try to keep my multitasking limited to different genres :) I get a little obsessive about finishing something I start, so if I start a novel, I usually want it completely done before I start another one - though obviously that doesn't apply to non-fiction or picture books which I happily work on simultaneously :)

    At the moment I find myself in weird territory...both fiction and non-fiction in edit mode and no new novel started (yet). Whatever will I do with myself ;-D

  6. the Best Buy analogy!!!! Has happened to my husband and me many, many times.

  7. LOL! Great post! I wish I could be more like you while I was in the middle of a novel, though. That's when my mind goes wandering.

  8. I'm with you . . .one-at-a-timing it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

  9. I'm so glad that one of the blog chainers is OCD about a single project as I am! I absolutely can not work on more than one story at a time. The voices in my head DON'T like that! ;)

  10. Great post! I know what you mean about having to switch gears and losing an idea altogether. Like you, I have a ton of ideas. It's just not always easy to get them onto paper before they skitter away.

  11. Thanks for all the great comments :) It takes a long time to get that focus but once I have it I'm like a laser. A frickin' laser attached to a shark's head. Yeah. That's it.

  12. Is it scary that I could totally relate? Hence the question...I tried to have too many projects going at once, and couldn't concentrate on any ONE. Glad to have to aboard BTW!

    :) Terri


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