Blog Chain: The Art of Multi-tasking

BLOG CHAINIt’s blog chain time again.  To start off I would like to welcome several new members of our chain.  Amanda, Rebecca, Cole (who actually started last month), Shaun(finally a guy’s POV),  Bonnie, and Sarah.  I am so excited to have them with us.

Terri started this chain with the following question: 

Do you focus on one project at a time, or do you have many irons in the fire at any given moment?

Kat was before me, and check out Sarah tomorrow for their take on the question.

On to the question…

I am a major multi-tasker.  I learned how to multi-task as a buyer.  I mean, when you need to juggle multi-million dollar buys, with merchandising, marketing and still meet a personal sales quota weekly – you had better get good at doing many things at once.  When I switched careers and started practicing school psychology, I found that my skills at multi-tasking enabled me to do a lot more in that setting as well.  I am able to coordinate projects, keep track of multiple cases, conduct professional training throughout the district and county, and handle both my counseling and assessment caseloads with ease.

Things are a little different with my creative endeavors.  I have tried to multi-task with writing – focusing on a WiP and a different project for revising at the same time.  Yeah…for me it doesn’t work so well.  I do a lot better creatively when I focus on one thing at a time.

So currently, I am focusing on finishing the first draft of Lacrimosa.  I have major edits to do on the Chaos trilogy – and I will.  Once I finish Lacrimosa.

As for my NF project – that is a completely different entity.  As are short stories.  I can be involved in both of these things while working on my novels.  I think it is because they are so different. 

With short stories, I usually pound out a first draft in one sitting, let it stew for a few days, and then revise.  It doesn’t take weeks or months – so I can take a day off from the WiP and focus on it.

The NF project is the same way.  Because it relates so closely to my day-in, day-out job, I can work on it at any time.

Rachelle Gardner wrote a post in late June that tackled the idea of working on multiple projects at once so be sure to check it out.

And what about you guys?  Can you handle many projects simultaneously?  Or are you better focusing your efforts on one thing at  time?

14 thoughts on “Blog Chain: The Art of Multi-tasking

  1. Thanks for the warm welcome Christine! I have to agree with you–one project at a time is easier. I’m afraid to multi-task writing projects because I don’t want to confuse my narritive voice.

  2. I used to be able to write something and edit another, but that’s sort of gone out the window. I dont’ think it’s because they’re two different things. I think it’s because my time management sucks.🙂

  3. I’ll save most of my answer for my post😀 but I will say I’ve never tried to edit something while I write something else. When it comes to novels, I want one thing completely finished first. So far at least.😀

  4. I’m a bit of a single-track minded person. But I do usually have at least one revision project in the works at the same time as I’m actively writing a new project. I get too impatient for the creative writing if I’m spending all my time editing, so I try to do both at once.

  5. Thanks for the welcome, Christine!😉

    I’m like you–I multi-task at my job, but when it comes to writing I need to have tunnel vision to be successful. More in my post later.

    Great post!

  6. Thanks for the welcome to the chain gang! Fantastic post, especially for giving some NF and short fiction perspective. I agree it’s easier to multitask with NF or short works.

  7. I multitask a multitude of unfinished projects, writing and otherwise. Multitasking is not going so well for me. I’m glad it’s worked in your careers, though!

  8. THANK YOU! I am getting a much clearer picture from all the posts on this chain. I am a constant multi-tasker in life, I have to be with five kids, so I didn’t really think twice about trying it with my writing. I think that has been a mistake, and the more posts on this chain, the more I’m rethinking that process.

  9. Welcome to the Blog Chain! I think you have a good point with working on different types of projects at the same time; it’s less likely that they will compete for the same brain cells.😉

  10. I have the same short story writing process – first draft in one sitting, leave it alone for a few days, and then revise. I agree that it makes it easy to take a break from a longer WIP and just briefly slip into the world of a short story.

  11. I’m envious of anyone who can multitask when it comes to writing. I can’t do it.

    I mean, at work, I can have several interviews done, but I like to finish one story before I start another. Otherwise I feel out of sorts, like someone has cut in line in front of me.

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