Sunday, May 22, 2011

Multitasking- Messing Everything Up Simultaneously

A couple of months ago I subscribed to the author Holly Lisle's weekly advice email, and I have been enjoying it throughly. Her most recent email dealt with how many stories one should take on at once, and I though it was great! It has inspired me to post about the number of writing projects that I believe is healthy to pursue at one time.

If you haven't yet figured out my opinion on this topic by the title, then I'll clarify it for you:

Writing one thing at a time is the best way to succeed with writing!

Now of course there are some exceptions, but I'll get to those later. For now I want to explain my reasoning behind my one-at-a time belief. I find that when I try to do three or four things at once I get no where. For example, when I write blog posts I'm usually doing a couple of things at once. Right now, I'm talking to a friend, Destiny, on Windows Messenger (I know, I know, I'm behind the times), listening to music, emailing another friend, and trying to write this post. Needless to say, I'm taking forever to respond the Destiny, writing a half thought out email, and writing a sentence or two on this post every couple of minutes. To be frank, I'm doing each thing poorly, instead of doing one thing really well. It's like trying to spread a little scoop of PB over a huge piece of toast. You end up with a paper thin layer of PB on a huge piece of toast (a classic case of quantity over quality). So all analogies aside, when a writer tries to do more then one story at a time then they end up doing all the stories badly instead of doing one story well (that is if they even finish them!). We're human (well at least I think you are...), and we simply can't give 110% if we are trying to focus on to many things at once.

I mentioned earlier that there are some exceptions, however I don't think they quite apply to us teens, considering most of us aren't professional writers. If you are though, sometimes deadlines happen. People ask you to write things for them and you also have a personal project going on, or something similar. If this happens work on each project for a length of time then switch, or stop one until the other is done. For example, work three days on one project, then three days on another project. Don't ever voluntarily do that, because there's a pretty good chance your work will suffer for it.

I know that some people just need to have more then one idea going at once, and I understand that. I don't recommend it, but I understand it. If are one of those people, this author recommended that you never have more then one project in each stage of planning, first draft, and revision.

To sum up this fairly short post (a short post,*GASP!*) writing one story at a time is best. Writing other types of things, however is fine. Writing a story, and writing a blog is fine, as long as you are doing one thing at a time. Writing two stories at a time is just too much for a writer too focus on. I know this is a debatable issue, so feel free to discuss this in the comments section!

P.S. If you'd like to subscribe to Holly Lisle's weekly tip email list, the one I've been referring to, and don't mind a little salty language go here. There should be something on the right side of the page.


  1. Destiny DiddlesworthMay 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Great post Sunny(: but I'd say this post is about mid-length...not too short if you ask me(;

  2. Hahahaha, yeaaaaaaaaaah I realized that when I published it, but I was too lazy to fix it. I know, "Bad Sunny"


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