Sunday, December 12, 2010

Things I'm Not Good At, Number 1,375

Okay, yeah, I picked that number at random.

My lacking skill-set of the day is multitasking! I don't do it well, and it's frustrating me right now. I'm the kind of person who has to start a project, plow through it, finish it, then move on to the next project. I can juggle two if I must, but it makes me nervous and jittery and irritable.

Three is out of the question. Four is an invitation to lunacy.

So, what's the problem?  1) I am trying to revise a short story to either offer as a free Kindle piece or publish on my website for the New Year--it's set in the world of my New Orleans novels and I can't quite figure out how to wrap it up. 2) I still have 250 pages of the WIP to revise. (I don't know--is it a WIP if the first hundred pages are on a publisher's desk awaiting judgment day?) 3) I have a 12,000-word outline for a third book in the New Orleans series, but there's no rush on it since the publisher won't decide if they want it till we see how the first two do--except that scenes keep playing out in my head and I'm afraid I'll lose them. 4) And an unrelated story keeps knocking on my door, to the point where I finally had to let it in and write the opening scene yesterday.

I can't work on four projects at once, or my head will explode. Any tips for keeping odd projects at bay? Opiates, perhaps?


  1. Wow, you do have some multi-tasking to arrange. What is it Oprah says? Learn how to say 'no' to some things. You scatter too much and you'll just end up doing everything poorly!

    Good luck!

  2. LOL. It's not a matter of saying no--they'll all get done. I just have to focus on one and tell my other characters to shut up for a while. I have started a notebook where I can jot down the general info when a scene for a non-active book pops in my head so I don't lose it forever!

  3. Well, how 'bout 'not now!' instead of 'no'. Like kids, put the projects in line and make them wait their turn! ;-)

  4. I'm the multitasking queen but I can't really tell someone else how to pull it off. For me, it's a matter of have to not want to.

    I also use a lot of notes to keep track of future projects. When the good stuff hits you don't want to lose it.

  5. The only thing I can think of is what you're already doing- jot down notes about the other projects when they pop up.

    You could also try certain scent (candles) or music separate for each project ;). Both work with the sub-conscious and if you train your mind to work on a certain thing when the sound or smell is involved- it might be less likely to wander into the other projects ;).

    Consideing all that you do though- I'd say you're VERY good at multi-tasking! :)