Skiving Off…

I have a twenty-something room mansion to clean (my partner’s – no, my writing ain’t gone viral).

Our wedding is less than 75 days away – and it is a do-it-yourself affair (by choice to ensure it is as sustainable as possible). I have two more bouquets to finish this month, hair bands for the bride’s maids, boutonnieres for the guys, and that is just the rest of February. I have my dress and veil to make, a photo wall quilt, and loads of cooking as well.

I have crates and crates of fabric just waiting to become quilted table runners, pillows, mug rugs, doll clothes, and who knows what else.

I have half a dozen books that I have bought recently. One of which I started and am dying to finish.

I have forty-two courses in my Watchlist at The Great Courses. That is about eight-hundred half-hour lessons.

And the only one that most of you care about, I have seventeen books in my To Be Finished file – at the moment. Right now, I have three books that I am working on – at once.

Of course, I also have no less than four blogs on such diverse subjects as sustainable living, feminist-homemaker, and Transcendentalist writings.

Do that seem a bit manic to you? Multi-tasking taking to some new and Crazzy extreme?

But it is the best way I work. Having so many balls in the air that a Guinness Book of World Records juggler would shake her head is how I roll.

Yes, I have often wonder, and sometimes even felt guilty. Wouldn’t it work better if I just started and finished one book at a time? And I have done that a few times. But it is usually an intense and short time frame – a couple of weeks. I burn myself out by the end and can’t write for days or weeks afterward.

Then I see articles on places like Medium, usually written by authors, not writers, that guilt assails me. I should buckle down, stick to one story, and finish the dozens of orphans masterpieces that are half-complete on Literotica.

Yesterday was a wash for me. After a couple of really bright three-thousand-plus word days, my daughter had woken me during the night and I could not get back to sleep. I broke another toe. I did manage to eke out about fifteen-hundred words in one of those novels and I started my Transcendental Ramblings blog but it was so flat I did not even bother hitting the publish button.

This is the only real thing I accomplished yesterday. One less naked doll in the world – and there are more than a few of those in our @HomeCrazzyHome.

Oh, a cute aside. I bought this one at a charity shop a couple of weeks ago (a bad addiction of mine, though not as profound as fabric). She had lain by the side of my sewing machine; her hair a complete rat’s nest. After I surrender to despair over my blog, I picked her up and began combing her hair.

What I had not noticed before was that she is a talking doll. Her trigger is having certain sections of her hair pulled. She is the anti-Tara, all about her hair. She has close to a dozen phrases that she cycles through. Two of them were eerie.

“Ouch, that hurts.” “Ouch, you hit a knot.”

Imagine being the only one awake in the house, holding a new-to-you doll between your knees as you brush its hair. And then when you are not expecting it, she says THAT! Yes, it was a WTF moment.

Oh, I did get a couple of things done for the wedding, like arranging the car hire and the kitchen help for the reception, and querying photographers. Do you have any idea how much a wedding photographer costs? Forget my shots of Mother Nature. Two-grand! No, we did not hire that one.

And we spent time with a friend, who had been in hospital, and her daughter.

According to my Excel spreadsheet, I got two-thousand-three-hundred-forty-six words written. To be fair, that is more than many writers do in a week. Some a month. And my doll has pretty hair, a new dress and hair bows, and I made a tiny dent on the wedding list.

But today began as yesterday had. My daughter woke me at 2:27 A.M. for food. I could not get back to sleep until after four – and my alarm is set for five. 5:10 – and six. I did not get up until almost seven. That’s actually worse than yesterday.

I did my usual routine. I stumble down the stairs for coffee. Strong, hot, black, and with enough sugar to get an elephant high. Then cup in hand back up to my study. I spend that first cuppa skiving off – checking emails and social media. So, I followed that rabbit down the hole…

Someone had liked my blog post Why Homemaker? So, I clicked through to her blog and liked one of her posts as well. Then, I followed her on Twitter.

Which took me to my Twitter feed. Top of it was a tweet by one of my favorite writer friends. (You should check out Dennis Schmeling– brilliant mind.) His tweet was about a TED talk (I have a watchlist of those too) on something called Slow-Motion Multi-Tasking. Yes, I jumped down that rabbit hutch for the next eighteen minutes and a cup and a half of coffee.

I am really glad I did. This video is a Must Watch.

Turns out, I am doing something right. All those projects, hobbies, working on three or more books at once, having such a variety of interests all feed my creativity.

And on some level, I knew this all along.

Quilting, sustainability, Transcendentalist ideas, grow your own – all of those things and more show up in my books. The books I read and the courses I take all influence my projects.

I have always seen it as a Renaissance mentality. And I think he missed the most obvious and perhaps brilliant example of Slow-Motion Multi-Tasking there is: Leonardo de Vinci. He was both an artist, a scientist, an inventor, and a world changer.

Now, I don’t claim to be another Leo. (Though we could sure use a few women ones. Wait! There are some pretty impressive b^tches out there. We just have not heard about them in our misogynistic HIStory classes. But I highly recommend this Great Courses lecture series Warriors, Queens, and Intellectuals: 36 Great Women before 1400 with Joyce Salisbury, Ph.D.)

But it was reassuring to have a label for my process. And to know that it worked for other people, too. The list is pretty impressive.

So, if you’re wondering when I’m gonna post my next chapter or story on @literotica, or if I have done another three-plus-year runner and writer’s block, the answer is – NO. In fact, it is likely that once these stories are finished I will be posting them en masse.

Until then, you can always check out my blogs or read old stories on my profile. Who knows, like Einstein, I will probably publish four books in a year. Maybe more. Well, now that I have earned my first twelve-hundred words of the day, I should go work on one of those novels. Or the wedding. Or quilting. Or photography (not weddings, but good to know how much I could make at it – if it ever came to that).

I encourage you to give yourself a break. Connect to your creativity; I believe we all have it. It is just that too often our parents, schools, and society stifle it. But like the dying embers of a campfire with a gentle breeze, it can become a raging forest fire that burns away the detritus and allows new life to burst forth.

And Slow-Motion Multi-Tasking may be just the wind that you need to fuel your creative fires. As it has been mine these past few months.

If I get discouraged I have only to look at that Excel spreadsheet to realize I am getting something accomplished with this unusual method. I mean –

135,282 words edited

118,030 new words written 

Are nothing to scoff at for a writer that is just skiving off with her Slow-Motion Multi-Tasking.

2 thoughts on “Skiving Off…

    1. Yet it never seems enough. I did break 3K words yesterday…oh and finished the crocheted flowers for my bride’s maid bouquet. Have to sew that together today and check it off my list. Thank you for the link, it was very encouraging.

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