Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Learning to Divide my Focus

Boohoo! I bought the t-shirt and everything. And now I have to wear it in shame. I just couldn't keep up with the National Novel Writing Month challenge. Well, in all honesty, I could have, I just chose not to. I worked hard at freelancing this month and found it extemely difficult to divide my focus in two directions.

And in real life I'm not so good at it either. I like to start a job and finish it before moving on. I like to clean one room at a time and when it's done, move on to the next. I eat all of one serving on my plate before moving to the next. And I designate one day a week to run errands and pay bills. As I write this, I think, "What a freak." Do you think I need therapy?

Obviously, this is not a good trait for a writer. I've been working on it, but it still just doesn't feel right. It's impossible to come up with an idea for an article, write it, edit it and submit it before working on anything else. So I'm trying to come up with a system. So far it's been pretty haphazard.

I have found that once I write the rough draft of an article, it is best to let it sit a day before editing it. So right now, that's what I do and the cycle begins; write article 1, edit article 2...but that's as far as I've gotten.

Any freelancers out there have a system that works? If so, let me in on the secret.

In the meantime, I'll just be sitting here, feeling like somewhat of a failure, but all the while celebrating that although I didn't finish NaNoWriMo, I did start. I did get the first 10,000 words of a very good book written and I have faith that at some point, I will return to it.

And now, back to figuring out a system for a reluctant multi-tasker (that's me). ~Karen


Carolyn Erickson said...

I can't say I'm an effective multi-tasker. In fact, I think it lowers my productivity.

But writing the draft (or as much as you have) and then moving on to the next one for a while is probably the only way to do it. It doesn't feel like multi-tasking as much because you're wholly focused on the first, then shift focus to the next one.

But how to write and still remember to pull the clothes out of the dryer, I don't know how to do! ;-)

Linda Austin said...

At least you started NaNoWriMo. I didn't even consider it because I know how I am... very organized, but not good at creating time for writing (or exercising or walking the dog or...)

Karen L. Alaniz said...

I'm sure you're right Carolyn. Very good advice and yeah, I can see what you mean...maybe if I don't think of it as multi-tasking and more like- finishing a part of one job, then it won't feel so, well...unfinished.

And Linda- very organized? Seems like it would be easy for you to "do it all."