17 October 2012

the juggling act: multitasking in the writing life

The Juggling Act: Multitasking in the Writing Life
I was going to write a post on the joys and skills of multitasking as writer. But here’s the thing … lately, I have not been a great multitasker. In fact, the moment I try to work on more than one project at a time, everything seems to fall apart—which makes me wonder if maybe multitasking isn’t the brightest idea when it comes to being a writer.

So rather than trying to sell you on everything great about multitasking, I’ve gathered some great posts, articles, and blogs from other writers grappling with the same question! Enjoy!

In “Multitasking, does it work?” writer and mother Jennifer Neri admits to multitasking in many areas of her life but not in her writing life. Jennifer offers an honest look at the urge for, and the struggle to resist, multitasking.

Christopher Gronlund’s The Juggling Writer is “a blog about juggling work, writing, and life.” Christopher blogs weekly with tips for writing success and “finding the balance between one’s day job and their life.”

“The Multitasking Writer – It’s All About Balance” is the advice Karen Duvall shares with novel writers. Duvall’s balancing act is the work of balancing story elements, not so much balancing the various aspects of a writer’s life … but for many of us, our works in progress are our lives, so her words are still extremely valuable.

Camellia Phillips is a fiction writer and grant writer. In an October 8, 2012 blog post, she writes on a variety of strategies for multitasking as writers with full-time non-writing jobs, family responsibilities, and more. Read up on these tips, and see which ones you can apply to your writing life, in “Juggling Multiple Writing Projects or I know I put that plot thread around here somewhere …”

I am all for multitasking typically, but given the stress it’s put my writing under lately, I’m starting to wonder if maybe John Soares doesn’t have it right when he suggests it hurts productivity. In “How Multitasking Hurts Your Productivity” Soares suggests that while there are some cases where multitasking can work—like doing housework or exercising—there are plenty of situations in which you shouldn’t … including writing.

But maybe John has it wrong. I mean, otherwise … why would something like this awesomeness exist?

How about you? Do you allow yourself to multitask in your writing life? Has multitasking helped or hurt you in the past? How do you find balance between your writing and everything else you have to juggle in your everyday life?


Want to stay connected? I invite you to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Please also sign up for the free email updates from Our Lost Jungle!


1 comment:

  1. John Soares article makes a good case for not multi-tasking while doing "executive" type work, including writing.
    This is an area I purposely decline to multi-task. If I answer a phone,knock at the door, switch to FB, etc. I slow the flow, step out of the mood.
    I do like that 'awesomeness' though :)


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

Featured Post

Sankofa: The Power of Known History

I recently took on two challenges in the sphere of political and cultural advocacy: understanding the roots of our democracy and national l...