In preparation for my two book signings this year, I was forced to notify my day job that I would be gone for a few days and had to endure some obligatory small talk which quickly turned to a question I damn well should know how to answer by now but still don’t:
How many books have you written?
Intellectually, I know all they wanted to know was how many books I’d published. Because they don’t care about anything not published, and they shouldn’t. There’s a reason why I didn’t publish it, after all. But on an emotional level, I took that question literally and started a futile internal effort to quantify everything I’d ever written since the very first poems I’d scribbled into an autograph book when I was 9 years old. Because I’m a writer and that’s what I do.
Talk about an awkward conversation stopper.
And that got me thinking about how different things matter to different people. And then I thought about the lists I used to keep of everything I’d written, and how I don’t have time to do that anymore, and my train of thought naturally drifted off the rails to things like multitasking and math, which ultimately led me to this momentous conclusion:
Multitasking is for worker bees
Study after study have been done on the subject of multitasking. For years it has been marketed as a valuable skill (because it gets employees to do more work in less time). But it’s recently been exposed as the fraud that it is. The more tasks you have to do at one time, the less effective you are at performing each individual task. Workload goes up, quality of work goes down. Simple, straight forward concept.
This is why multitasking is only feasible for work that relies more on habit and muscle memory than active problem solving. You can collate files and still talk on the phone if you’ve done it hundreds of times before. You can stuff envelopes and pay attention to a webinar. You can type a generic email and tell someone where the copy paper is stored without breaking your WPM stride.
But you can’t formulate a complex multi-dimensional world with multiple religious sects and social strata while simultaneously organizing a multi-step out of state travel itinerary and actively participating in pre-event promotion.
Which is my way of saying I’ve fallen behind schedule on Prince of Deceit.
Right now, I am maybe 3 or so chapters away from finishing the story, but I went back to have screaming fight with this bitch because it is giving me enough attitude to make a hormonal teenager jealous and I need to teach it who’s in charge. Again.
Seriously, it’s one of those moments where my internal dialogue goes something like this:
Me to manuscript: Is it me? Was I a bad writer to you? Did I not give you everything you ever wanted? Why are you punishing me like this?
Manuscript: Screw you! You’re not my mom!
Me: Yes I am, you little brat! I brought you into this world and I can take you the f#ck out again!
There’s a lot of door slamming happening right now. I’m hoping it’s a phase because I can’t handle this for much longer. It’s time this royal pain of a freeloader moved out and got a job.
It doesn’t help that I’d made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t work on anything else until this book was finished, which now means not only will PoD not get published this year, nothing else will, either. Ya know, just in case I didn’t feel like enough of a failure already. Good thing I don’t have a release schedule breathing down my neck. Score one for being my own publisher.
Anyway, this is just a small authory update for those of you keeping track. 🙂 Since I haven’t been very active online lately, I just wanted to reassure everyone that I’m still alive, still writing (or rewriting), and still very much an introvert, public appearances notwithstanding.
And now I go back to my red pen (I think it’s running out of ink…)
Until next time!