I met Frederick some time before the Rule of Three Blogfest, and we’ve become good blog-friends ever since. Today, he talks about Muti-tasking as writer, so I’m going to hand over the post to him. Take it away, Fred!
If you’re a Mom, you probably thought you had a lock on the multitasking crown. Don’t even think about it. Independent authors have to multitask in a major way, too. Don’t get me wrong. As a Dad, I know very well that Moms are world-class multitaskers.
Recently I caught my wife scouring the bathtub with one hand while negotiating with the health insurance guy on the phone in her other hand. In the kitchen she had a cake in the oven. Because she was on hold, she was also arguing with one of our kids who was refusing to do his homework. All at the same time. That’s some pretty good multitasking, I admit.
Multitasking Tip 1: Use both hands.
Still, as an independent author, I can beat that. Today I’m puzzling over problems with my Main Character. She’s left-handed, and that’s important, but I still have to help the reader see how it’s important. I have to develop this quirk all through the book. This task tops my list of WIP to-dos.
Also on the list: I want to increase the fireworks in one or two scenes. I need to add more tension between my Main Character and the Antagonist in some scenes. I have to make the betrayal more real in two scenes. And I have to fix a scene left over from an earlier draft which needs an overhaul because of other changes I made. Writers multitask in high gear when it comes to the writing process alone.
Multitasking Tip 2: Make a list and check things off as you go.
But what about all the left-brain stuff we do to get our books into the marketplace and noticed by potential readers?
I take a break from writing and send a question to the my designer. Then I answer a mail from the editor who’s helping me with my WIP. On my next break I write the first draft for my next blog, due in two days. While working on the concept, I find something I don’t like on my website and change it. I say hi to a few friends on Twitter. I check Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble to see if anyone has written a new review of Doing Max Vinyl.
Multitasking Tip 3: Don’t try to use left-brain and right-brain at the same time.
I ambush the kids for a hug as they arrive home from school (not easy with teenaged boys). I listen to their stories, then I’m pushing them to do homework. Tonight it’s my turn to cook. While I chop onions and peppers, I’m thinking about my Main Character again. My MC is trying to lose 45 pounds. Part of my research is to lose a little weight myself to know how it feels. So I’m resisting the urge to nibble even while cooking dinner, with my stomach growling. Does this count as multitasking?
Multitasking Tip 4: Give full attention to loved ones. Turn off multitasking.
Multitasking Tip 5: Use down time (chopping onions, jogging, etc.) as thinking/reflection/creative time
Let’s face it, I may be cooking today, but my wife cooks most of the time. She does all the cleaning, all the laundry, most of the shopping. While she’s doing one thing, she’s always got three other things on her mind, just as I can cook and work on my MC at the same time. Moms have the lion’s share of the housework. My contributions help out, but they pale beside the long list of stuff my wife does every day.
Multitasking Tip 6: Give credit where credit is due
Hard to imagine doing all the stuff she does and also writing a book. Yet lots of great writers are Moms. The best multitaskers in the world would have to be Moms who are writers. Author Moms. Don’t you agree?
What was your greatest multitasking feat recently?
Multitasking Mom image credit to Meredith Garrett
Frederick Lee Brooke has been a teacher, a language school manager and a school owner. He lives with his family in Switzerland and makes frequent trips to the U.S.A. and other countries. He loves cooking, walking, reading, and learning languages and speaks English, German, French and Italian and is learning Turkish. “Doing Max Vinyl” is the first in the series of Annie Ogden mysteries. It can be purchased on Amazon or on Smashwords. The sequel to “Doing Max Vinyl” is due in April 2012.