Multi-tasking versus multiple tasks

I hate the expression “multi-tasking”.  In my day it was referred to as “running around like a chicken with your head cut off.”  THAT expression had some moxie to it.  Multi-tasking is a generic contemporary expression that generally tends to mean that someone is doing too much at the same time to the detriment of everything.  Multi-tasking leads to personal and professional accidents.

As a writer I don’t multi-task with the exception of correcting errors or looking something up from a research standpoint as I am writing.  Now this is completely different than working on more than one piece at the same time which I don’t consider to be in the same category.

There are several styles and manners and protocols for writing.  I’ve read other writer’s blogs and seen what they say about their personal technique.  Some may disagree with me when I say that I have to have several projects going at the same time.  Concurrently working on different threads tends to help me out in the long run.  If I run into a wall on one piece I don’t fret or sweat or regret.  I switch seats; I jump into a new suit; I change hats.

I feel like it is washing my hands after helping my wife in the yard before I go in to make dinner.  Your outdoor work clothes are not your apron and chef’s hat.  I might be thinking about dinner while I’m mowing or raking or moving heavy stones around.  But if I truly want to get my task-at-hand done I finish as much as I can before stopping.  And then go on to the next thing.

I can’t see the point of shutting down the brain simply because I got stuck somewhere.  I believe the creative mind is a muscle to be exercised.  And anyone that is into exercising will talk about their regimen of working the abs and glutes and biceps and triceps in sequence so that each set of muscles becomes developed.

It is certainly a task to keep things balanced.  But in the long run, for me, I keep my works fresh by not beating any of my horses too far into the ground.



  1. jenniferneri said,

    August 5, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I like to work on shorts while
    I work on my novel. Yes, it gives me that out when the novel gets hairy, but it also allows me breathing room, and experimentation (which I will not do within my novel)
    Keep exercising! 🙂


  2. tikiman1962 said,

    August 6, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    The brain, dear lady, is always working which means it is always exercising. (This results in many dreams or sleepless nights. Oh well!)


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