01 October 2010

So a while back, kick-ass authoress Holly Lisle, in her fantastic newsletter, mentioned something about multi-tasking as a writer. Not in those words exactly, but what she was getting at (paraphrasing here...) was: 'don't work on more than one project at once'. Or at least, if you're serious-writing on one project, don't be serious-writing on another at the same time. World building on another project and/or final polish-editing on another project (i.e., max: 3 projects at once) is probably managable (if-and-only-if you MUST).

And I thought: 'is she serious'??

Because I am a many-many projects at once sorta gal. At least I thought I was.

But then I got to thinking and it sorta started making sense. When you're serious-writing on a project, you're immersed in that project's world. You live it. You breathe it. If you're a bit of a method-writer like me, you become your characters and take on their personalities from time to time in your real-world life (handy, if you're naturally shy and you're character's not... ).

World building and editing, on the other hand, at least for me, is work that can be done bit by bit, piece by piece, a section (or two or three) at a time. It's different, in other words, from serious-writing.

And, oddly enough, I hadn't really thought about it exactly like that. The "sub-tasks" of writing -- world building, character development, serious-writing, editing -- these things had been melded together in my head before as part of the Big Picture -- part of the Process of Writing. I had not separated them out and seen them as discreet and different before. Seems obvious, but yanno -- if anybody's gonna miss The Obvious, it's gonna be me....

Anyway, it makes sense, now that I think of them separately, that serious-writing on more than one project is going to get you Nowhere Fast.

And that's not where I want to be.


Somewhere in the deep, dark, secret recesses of my mind, I'm thinking I really need to finish -- and I mean Finish-Finish -- the first complete draft of Dragons before NaNo starts.

Which gives me a friggin' deadline, I suppose, of October 31.

Fuckin' A.

Guess it's a good thing I've got my NaNo all plotted and ready to G.O., since I failed miserably at Screnzy. The up-side of failure being I have the plot for NaNo pretty much all D.O.N.E. (other than some world building.... conveniently enough....)


Methinks the wisdom of me elders might be sinking in...



Krista said...

Good luck on Nano this year! I'm not even bother signing up this time around, but I'll be cheering for everyone who does!

Bethanie said...

Thansk! It's hard work, but I love the insanity of writing being a "group activity" for one month out of the year. And the crazy things my characters do.... :)

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