Multitasking and Writing

I am a multitasker.

How does that relate to writing?

Two basic ways, I would say.

First, there is always some kind of story going in my head regardless of what I’m doing. Well, unless I’m sleeping, but then I’m dreaming, so yeah, still a story. I’ve been in the middle of reading a book, set it down, and just stared off into space before–because the story that was running in my head became more interesting or compelling. I used to get complaints all the time from my family because I was writing while watching a movie or playing a game. It’s always there. Some story is being told in the back of my brain, and I can’t shut it off.

So, for those of you who think multitasking is a bad thing, I guess that’s too bad for me because I’m screwed. The stories aren’t going away.

It does make some of the mundane tasks in life more interesting, though. Cleaning while figuring out the latest section of a story is to be preferred over cleaning without it.

The other aspect of multitasking and writing for me is window flipping. Yes, I have a PC, so I have… Windows. Even if I didn’t, though, I’d still do the window flipping thing. I need to feel like I’m doing more than one thing, even when writing. So I usually have a couple browsers open (my current favorite is chrome, but I like firefox and despise internet explorer) with email accounts open, livejournal friends pages to refresh, and any research I might need to do in another tab.

I can write while watching movies or television, but admittedly, I accomplish more when it’s just music going in the background. I don’t do well with silence while I’m writing, and singing along can help inspire me and keep me going.

It’s interesting how doing more than one thing at once helps me accomplish that one thing.

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