Still, all the other things got done. Dinner was cooked, served and eaten. The washing was brought in and sorted and put away. The files got uploaded. The Murphlets went to bed happy, and I have an idea for the WIP.
All this got me thinking about how I juggle my writing tasks. A lot of multi-tasking happens there too. On a typical writing day in the past week I have checked and answered emails, answered phone calls from schools wanting me to come and visit, proofread a manuscript that’s just about ready to go out, marked assignments, written book reviews, read books, researched online, blogged … Did I mention I’ve actually written, as well? Other writing task that come up from time to time include sending out submissions, chasing up submissions, praying about submissions (lol), promotion, looking for new markets – the list is almost endless.
Multi-tasking is good. Multi-tasking is fun. There is never time to be bored when there are so many different things to be done. Variety is, as they say, the spice of life. But, just like my missed weather report, trying to do many things at once means that sometimes things can be overlooked. It is easy to have a deadline sneak up on you, or forget to reply to an email, or to let a manuscript gather dust rather than sending it out somewhere new.
These things have all happened ot me at different times. That’s why I keep a list next to my computer. I list all the things I hope to achieve in my week, from the number of reviews and blogposts I want to write, to people I need to contact, the number of writing sessions on my WIP, and submissions I need to follow up on, promotion opportunities I need to grasp, and whatever else needs to be done. I allow myself some flexibility. I don’t work down the list from top to bottom. I work on what seems the most pressing or the most achievable in the time I have on that day. I cross things out as they’re done, so I can see how much I’ve achieved and, when the list is mostly crossings, I start a new one. Oh, there is one rule I have set for myself. I must write every day, whether it’s my WIP or something new that needs my attention, or revisions. If I don’t write, I cease to be a writer.
I might miss the weather, but a simple organisational tool like a list does help me to make time for the things I need to do in my writing life. And in the end, who cares how hot it’s going to be? Knowing we’re in for a scorcher doesn’t change anything.
I’ve just finished updating Aussiereviews with 14 new reviews. Enjoy.