Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today's Writing Tip Is about Multitasking

Twenty years ago, the concept of multitasking was rare. Most people worked at one task at a time. Writers may have been different; perhaps they turned on music in the background when they wrote to help their creative juices flow. But they weren't likely to be watching the tickertape on the news, texting from their phones, and checking other open windows on their computers while they were writing.

Many studies, especially those conducted with the younger generation, have found that people who multitask believe that they are doing just as well, if not better, than if they had focused on one task at a time, but the hard-core proof indicates otherwise. And who needs a study to reaffirm what we already know from common sense? Doing one thing at a time yields better results.

This is probably more true for rewriting and editing one's work than writing. I often find that background music helps me to write, but I turn it off right away when I'm revising and polishing because using my creative mind is very different from using my meticulous inner critic.

Ask yourself how much of a multitasker you are. And see if it makes a difference to your writing and editing your own work if you buckle down and do one thing at a time. Easier said than done, I know, but well worth the experiment.

Sigrid Mac
Author of Be Your Own Editor

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