I am not the best multi-tasker in the world. Actually, let me rephrase that: I’m the worst multi-tasker in the world. I’m great at handling one problem at a time, but when you start throwing two or more things at me at once… disaster. What does this have to do with anything? Well, I’m trying to multi-task, and while it hasn’t turned into a gigantic clusterfrick yet, the stress fractures are starting to show.
As you know, I recently knuckled down on my latest manuscript and started working at speed once again. I’m averaging 4,000 words a day, five days a week. At my current pace, I’ll hit the finish line sometime in early May. After sitting on the unfinished manuscript for more than a month, spending my day doing essentially nothing, I’m finally acting like a pro again. Which may make you wonder what the problem is.
The problem is that Los Amantes, as the manuscript is called, isn’t the only thing demanding my attention. I also have the proofs for Tequila Sunset to look over and correct and time is running out for me to get that work done. Consequently I must spend part of my day going over the text of Tequila Sunset with a fine-toothed comb and then the latter half of the day creating new fiction. These are completely disparate activities and require a totally different set of skills. Seeing as how I’m a terrible writer, I find it difficult to switch gears.
I’m also very conscious of time management in a way that I haven’t been for a while. When I’m working on the revisions, I’m aware that it’s taking time away from doing my new work. When I’m doing my new work, I’m thinking about how I should have done more revisions before stopping for the day. It’s really a no-win scenario and it’s a problem I created for myself. You see, I’ve had the proofs of Tequila Sunset in my possession for months, and instead of working on them when I was already doing revisions of my back catalog, I sat on them, thinking I would get to them eventually. Well, “eventually” is here, and it turns out that not planning appropriately means matters are far less convenient than one would like.
Probably the biggest issue I’m facing with Tequila Sunset in particular is the number of little things I’m finding wrong. I produce pretty clean text, and any small errors I make are generally corrected during a second run-through, but I’ve found a goodly number of not typos, but poorly chosen words or storytelling mistakes, all of which I should have caught already. It can be pretty disheartening.
On the plus side, I’ll be done with revisions on Tequila Sunset by the end of the week, barring catastrophe. This frees me up to concentrate on Los Amantes exclusively until I’ve run out the string on that project. There’s nothing I can do to win back my wasted February and March, but I can’t dwell on that. Forward.