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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Twenty-First Century Brain vs. Dream Time (or...."Mom, why is my sock in the fridge?")

Rant ahead....which I have no right to be ranting, but alas......

I dislike the word multi-tasking. I would have said hate, but I hate the word hate.

I dislike the word multi-tasking not because of how it sounds, (which is reason enough to hate the words brouhaha and nauseous) but because of what it means. And I dislike that my life is so dependent upon being able to multi-task. (So dependent, in fact, that it is habit.)

A bad habit that I wish I could break.

See, it's not enough that I'm a mother, wife, teacher, storyteller, IB coordinator, and writer (not to mention housekeeper and all that jazz), but when I write, I have to have 5 projects going on at a time. Wha??? This is because I have been trained that I must be multi-tasking at all times.

Like one task at a time isn't enough? Who decided this? They probably had some meeting that I couldn't attend because I was too busy multi-tasking.

The dangers of over-multi-tasking are obvious:

1. The inability to ever, truly pay attention to what I am doing. Mom, you know you just missed that turn, right? Mom, why are you putting the laundry in the refridgerator? Mom, where is the ________? (Insert just about anything last seen in my hands.)

2. The total loss of DREAM time. You know, the lifeblood of writers. The time to just imagine stuff. I am so used to multi-tasking that when I stop for a while to sit and imagine, this is what happens:


Sad, huh?

Rant over. Please go back to your regularly scheduled tasks.



Myrna Foster said...

This is life, especially not being able to remember where I put something I know I just had. My mind was somewhere else when I put it away.

And I know that working on short projects makes finishing a novel take forever, but I love the short projects too.

Kelly H-Y said...

So very true!! Laundry in the fridge ... love it!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

But you were still able to find your blog!
dream time, sigh, like lying in the grass just watching clouds roll by. sigh, more.

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm a mulit-tasker when it comes to most things, but I can't do it with writing. I can only work on one thing at a time.

Yat-Yee said...

So true. I am glad at least these days multi-tasking is no longer touted as something one should aspire to do.

May your life slow down...but not so much that you start getting bored.

Catherine Denton said...

There should be a support group for multi-taskers.
Winged Writer

Elana Johnson said...

I know! I start to feel queasy when someone says they have four or five ideas. I'm like, "I have one. And it's not developed and I can't start writing on it until I think some more."

Excellent rant!

Julie Dao said...

I know how you feel. I've been guilty of over-multitasking myself. My solution to that is to make lists, but I do that while folding laundry so that's still multitasking. Can't escape it!

Jackee said...

I'm sooo this way too. It should be considered an illness.

Maybe we can start a support group: Multi-tasking-writer-moms-anonymous.

I'd join... anonymously.

Amy Tate said...

What a terrific post, Miss Shelley. I think we are the product of what society expects of us. As if I had nothing else to do, I signed up for quilting classes that begin Tuesday night. But ya know, I'm attracted to the idea of sitting around with a bunch of women, just to laugh. I'm not very crafty, but I need the stress reliever.

Katie said...

I do this too but I've always just said, "I'm ADD."

Laundry in the fridge. LOL

Christy Raedeke said...

I totally relate - it's impossible to exhale creativity without inhaling dreamtime. Finding that balance is the key - right now I just feel like I'm hyperventilating from exhaling only!

storyqueen said...

Myrna-My mind is ALWAYS somewhere else! Nice to know I'm not alone.

Kelly-True story, unfortunately.

Tricia-That's because the blog is in the computer, and as long as I don't misplace that, I'm okay. (Well, there is the whole issue of forgetting what I named any given file...)

Susan-I can't do multi-tasking well at all, in any area! (And yet, it is the way of things these days.)

Yat-Yee-This weekend looks a little slower, but we'll see...:)

Catherine-I'd join!

Elana-I love the think time!! But so little of it these days. Usually, I am doing think time on one project whilst finishing up three others...

Julie-I don't know what I would do without lists. (When I can find them...)

Jackee-Yes, a lot of it comes from being a mom and having to juggle so many tasks at the same time!

Amy-Wha??? As if you aren't busy enough!!! You go, girl!

Katie-I refuse to be ADD! I like to think of it as being terminally creative or better, "she's a day dreamer."

Chris-Very true. I like the inhale/exhale image. It speaks to the balance of things, which I am lacking.

Anonymous said...

Oh isn't it wonderful to daydream :o) until I crash back down to earth and realise I can't even remember that half hour of driving into town.

Thanks for commenting on my blog :o)

Solvang Sherrie said...

I haven't put laundry in the fridge--yet! But I do leave things in the strangest places and I always feel scattered these days. I guess my ability to multi-task is pretty low.

Anne Spollen said...

Lol, yes, this is so true. I regularly call my cell phone because it's buried somewhere, and how many times have I wished I could also call my glasses...