Friday, 4 December 2009

Morning Coughing

There's a selection of teas -- black, greem herbal and decaff -- and instant or filtered coffee and those little packets of 'instant' cappucino. Do help yourself to the French Fancies - they were on offer and only a little bit out of date.

How do you deal with multitasking? Does anyone else do it?

Personally I only like to work on one book at a time, whether that be editing, drafting or re-writing, but I keep up my four blogs daily, two of which are ongoing fiction (Jasfoup and Laverstone) and my poetry (one of my goals for next year will be to start subbing poetry). Then yesterday I had the idea for another on-going story/blog about anouther of my chararcters and I though 'Don't be so so cofus*, Rachel, you haven't the time or the skill or to strength of character to ever get it published'.

Does anyone else have multiple projects on the go?

Here's one asked on one of the other writing groups I belong to:

If you could ask any one author (living or dead) any one question, who and what?

*Thank you Rowan


Fia said...

Beautiful picture and thank you, I'd love a coffee.

Good questions. I don't mulit-task, I half task. Flitting from a bit of non fiction to fiction or half fill dishwasher and half get dressed. That sort of thing.

Can't work on two novels at the same time although I can attempt short stories while working the WIP.

I'd like to meet Emily Bronte and ask her where did all that come from?

Cathy said...

A black coffee for me please and apologies for missing a few weeks recently.

I can't really multitask with my writing. I might put the novel aside to write something very short, but generally I need to concentrate solely on it to make progress. I definitely couldn't work om more than one big project at once.

I'd like to ask Jane Austen the secret of long-lasting popularity.

ChrisH said...

Good question and a slightly out-of-date French Fancy sounds right up my street, thank you.

I can actively work on one idea whilst keeping another running in the background but usually because they're different genres. Not sure I could do two of a kind together.

I'd like to ask Marian Keyes for a fraction of her wit and humour.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Thank you a strong black coffee would be perfect (unplugs the hoover). Multitasking is the only way I get anything done because I don't have big blocks of time to write (kids, house, 'work' work). I've just finished the latest draft of the new novel & the only way it got done was to put everything else on hold. Hence the manic cleaning before someone calls health & safety :)

I'd like to ask Anne Tyler a) how do you do it and b) how can you manage to be such a success & stay out of the media circus

Leatherdykeuk said...

It's really interesting to hear your thoughts on the subject, folks. This week has been the first problem I've had with writing multiples -- It's summer in Jasfoup's Diary and winter in the WIP and I'm getting them confused.

Rowan Coleman said...

Ha! I've invented a word, I new my life would amount to something eventually. I do multitask, although where possible I prefer to work on one project at a time, but there is always an over lap. For example I am about to start on a new teen novel whilst finishing off the last bits of my new adult novel and I will also be working on the American edition. I worry that is become hard to cofus (see what I did there?) properly on one project so i try really hard to be totally in the zone on what ever is in front of me, but baby, lack of sleep and a million other complications do test that theory a bit! On the other hand much better to have this problem than the other one, which is nothing to write at all. I think you could do it Rachel! I always think its worth giving an idea spin, even if it leads nowhere - its a creative holiday at the very least. I would like to meet Emily Bronte and Charlotte too and give them a hug. Charlotte is my hero. And I'd like to meet Jane Austen and say how much do you mind people re-writing your books for all eternity and I'd like to meet Marion Keyes and ask her how she keeps her hair so shiney and consistently has so many good original ideas, and I'd like to meet Anne Tyler and tell her I love the quiet intensity of her books and finally I'd like to meet John Donne in his twenties before he got serious and flirt with him. I bet he was the best ever flirt.

Ellie said...

A bucket of black coffee for me please!

Multi-tasking is something I love to do. I'm trying to stop myself from starting another novel at the moment (though I have two very tempting ideas coagulating currently) because in addition to editing the one I finished in July, I have also just started a degree in Italian literature. That's on top of a very full-time job that includes a fair bit of travel.

To be honest, I tend to find that if I don't have at least five other things that I *should* be doing, nothing ever gets done. I'm not very good at relaxing though...

Ellie said...

And because I'm currently multi-tasking (doing this, eating lunch, reading blogs, talking to colleagues and keeping an eye on my work inbox) I forgot to do the other part!

I would like to ask Douglas Adams what The Question really was.

Karen said...

Ooh I'll have some de-caff coffee please :o)

I do multi-task a bit with my writing, switching between my novel and short-story writing, and squeezing in a blog post now and then! I like to think it keeps me fresh, and it seems to work.

I'd like to ask Charles Dickens how the heck he managed to be so prolific without a blimmin' computer!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Oh, Super answers!
Yes, I'd like to know what The Question was, too.

HelenMHunt said...

I'm the queen of multi-tasking. Fiction, non-fiction - short stories, novel, book reviews ... it makes it really hard to do anything properly and I do get frustrated.

I'm also wondering about starting novel two in January - very probably a bad idea.

I'd like to meet Agatha Christie, but would have so many questions it would take all day!

Helen said...

I'm not good at multi tasking at the moment so I've told myself not to stress about the writing this side of Christmas.

I would like to meet Enid Blyton. Find out if all that was portrayed on the TV recently was true.If so, why. What really made her tick.

Captain Black said...

I have a Y chromosome and therefore am unable to multi-task. I tried multi-threading once but ended up with stack corruption.

I got seriously interested in agile methodology and its applications to writing - both fiction and software. This included time and project management for multiple and complex works and their interactions. Looking back, it may have contributed to my "downfall"; perhaps I should have stuck to one thing, as my DNA has prescribed.

My question is to Caroline: woH tsaf nac uoy yllaer daer dna etirw rorrim egaugnal?

Graeme K Talboys said...

I prefer working on one thing at a time, but needs must...

I have three non-fic contracts to fulfil by the end of next year, two of which have a slight overlap. So I'm researching and drafting all three at the moment. I'm also helping out a friend by typing a manuscript (its a long story, but thank goodness it's a short manuscript), plotting a couple more novels, and sorting out the logistics of self-publishing some of my fiction next year (the biggest headache is finding quality cover art that I can afford).

One author? Wouldn't know who to choose. There are so many who have gone I wish I'd been in touch with, which is why I always write now to those I admire. One question? The one to which they would have no answer - how the f*** do you get an agent (had another rejection today - love your writing, but there's no way I could sell it). Ho hum.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Fab answers.

Capt. B - not very, for me.
Graeme - nor I - another rejection this week for me, too.
HelenMH: go for it
Helen: I'd get bored!

Debs said...

I seem to flit from editing one novel, to writing/planning another, shortstories, blogging, etc, but it feels more like chaos rather than multi tasking.

I'd like to have a chat with Daphne DuMaurier.

JJ Beattie said...

Sorry I'm late. I'll just grab a cup of tea... thanks Rachel.

I don't think I can multi-task with fiction... I can write articles and blog posts though. Novel two is rather vying for attention at the moment but I'm just letting it percolate. I've never felt much affinity for short stories, but I'm going to have a go when this draft is done. I've got 'Short Circuit' and Della Galton's book to read...

I guess I'm just glad to be able to read fiction while I write.

Regarding the question: I did write on behalf of our book group to Sebastian Faulks to ask him a question but he never replied! We wanted to know why one of the MC's met a very elderly researcher of the same name as his own, in the mental hospital in which he was working on the day he was leaving that job. It made no sense to any of us. Some thought it was meeting himself at the end of his life, others were just confused. Nothing ever came of it in the story and it taught me a big lesson: if you make a big deal about something, your readers are going to want to know why... at some point. It also taught me that you should write back to people who take the trouble to write to you... even if you are very busy and important.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks JJ.

When I write I make a list of 'ends' I've left 'loose'

Tam said...

Sorry I'm late - is there any fennel tea left?

Multitask? Yes, I do this. Although this year I've hardly written any short stories or features, it's been all about the childrens' books.Real life gets in the way all too often, too. I cannot believe it's the end of the year already, either.

One author I'd like to meet is Neil Gaiman. I want to give him a big kiss because he has inspired me more than I could ever say. Poor bloke, he should be afraid!

Leatherdykeuk said...

There's always fresh fennet for tea, Tam. Neil Gaiman? The darned man aways uses my ideas ten years before I have them!

Lane said...

When I looked over a heap of half finished pieces recently, I realised that I can't multi task at all. I need all the 'cofus' I can get.

I would like to meet Maya Angelou although I'd probably be too in awe to ask anything sensible.

And Jane Austen to ask how? On those teeny tiny pieces of paper, no light, no proper pen and wearing corsets. How?

Thanks Rachel, that French Fancy was the biz.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks for that, Lane. I concur -- If I was reduced to longhand and a candle, i wouldn't be a writer.

Annieye said...

I have to multi-task. I can be writing a report at work in the daytime and then fiction at either ends of the day.

I'd like to ask myself in 20 years time if I actually made it to publication!

Seriously, though, I'd love to ask Samuel Pepys what he thinks of blogging, and I'd give anything to be able to have another chat with Rob's great uncle (Tony Ireson) who was a very successful author, because he is going to feature as a character in my next book!

liz fenwick said...

Very late this week......I think my life is multi-tasking countrying ecery thing...but I feel i am less and less in control of it.

With writing - one project at a time although my subconcious doesn't follow this rule is known to gad about all over the place...

As for writers........too many to contemplate or it could just be jet lag has addled the brain again :-)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Thank you both for weighing in.

Wasn't Pepys the ultimate blogger?