I do it to myself. I start one project and then another idea comes up and I feel like working on that so I abandon what I was working on in favour of this new project. But then this process repeats until I have too many to deal with. And it’s all my own doing.
I’ve always been a bit like that about everything. I could never just do one thing at a time, I’ve no idea why I’m like that, I guess it’s just how I work. I used to sit with music on my iPod while I read a book, sometimes even pacing the same patch of floor because I just could not find enough stimulation to calm myself. As if I was itching to entertain another limb or part of my brain.
As I type this I have music on, my leg is shaking like nobody’s business and I can’t stop biting the skin from my lips and fingers. This is me slightly calm, usually I’d have the TV on too.
This fuzz is what has me stuck between works at this moment. I’m between trying to fix the POV of my first book and finish one of my more ambitious fics. The night before last I decided, since I could not find a comfortable place in my head to continue with my fic, to print it out. Sometimes I find that I need to work on paper for a little while instead of the computer, I don’t know why I have this need or why it helps lift the fog over my mind, but if I had to guess I’d have to think back to school.
We had a computer at home when I was in primary but we were never really asked for our homework to be printed out back then so we were never bothered by that but I remember being in maybe second year of high school and suddenly everything had to be printed out and not handwritten. I don’t remember much in life but I remember the exact moment a teacher told me my essay was fine but I needed to type it up before I could hand it in and thinking to myself “since when?”
My generation was the transition phase, from paper to digital.
We were the generation used to writing everything by hand, borrowing Tipp-Ex from the teacher or another pupil and blowing on it until it dried enough for you to write over it and fix your mistake. And then asking for the Tipp-Ex back because you messed up again. We were the ones shaking our hands because we’d been writing for what seemed like hours now and our joints felt hot and sore. We were the ones who looked up things on computers and wrote out what we needed on paper instead of just printing it out.
Our essays were handed in on lined paper, our group notes were copied out by four of five different hands, we copied our homework and tasks from the whiteboard onto paper. Our classes were the ones who had to go in twos or threes to the library to print off our homework because we didn’t have printers at home.
I think that’s why people my age still find a comfort in writing things out by hand, why we favour a paperback to a kindle. The generation after us will be the opposite, they will be the ones who just can’t focus when they are writing by hand, and the ones who work better when they’re on a computer. If they even know how to handwrite by then; it wouldn’t surprise me if we regress to the days when monks were the only ones who could write.
After two hours of printing I took the most recently printed sheet and read it to see where it was and realised that, since it was barely halfway through, this was not as practical as I had first thought.
While it was printing I opened the file of my first book and attempted to do some proofreading which led me to the realisation that the POV was just completely wrong and I needed to change it from first to third. Which I then started to do and when the print out was done I tucked it away in favour of this.
And that’s when the fuzz took hold. I was trying to fix this book but the back of my mind knew that my fic was sitting there unfinished. For the purposes of context I’ll tell you that I have another book finished that needs proofread, another two books started but nowhere near finished, another two fics nearly finished which have sequels that I haven’t started, a Christmas fic that I tucked away until I could get into it again, and three (at least) book ideas in the preliminary stages.
And let’s not talk about everything else I have to do – like the two boxes of idea cards I have, where I stick ideas for stories/fics when I have them to be looked at later.
I have to-do lists coming out of my ears and I feel like I leave fuzz everywhere I go, which is probably why I feel like all I do is clean up.
It’s something I hear/read from a lot of writers, that they have trouble focusing on one job at a time, other writers are lucky in the sense that they don’t have that problem. Either way I guess I’m going to just have to work through the fuzz and maybe I work better that way – I wrote the first hundred pages of my first book while I was supposed to be revising for my HNC in Social Sciences graded unit exam and I got a B – who knows, but one thing I do know, at least I can tick this post off my list.