Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Multi-faceted Writer

Do writers natural multi-task better than their peers? Or do we all have ADHD?

I was at a conference this fall where I heard your IQ drops by 10 points as you multi-task. In comparison, this speaker said, your IQ drops by 4 points if you smoke marijuana.

This hit me like a slap in the face. Not in the way you might expect. I constantly multi-task. I don't think I can do one thing at a time. I realized that if this little tidbit was true, I might be a genius but never slowed down enough to notice.

I don't think every writer is a natural multi-tasker. My husband is not. But writers, in order to write, must perceive the world in a different way than their peers. We don't simply take the world at face value. Our minds constantly ponder the "what if"s. We stare into a beautiful scene and either drown ourselves in emotion or imagine something unfolding in that scene.

We have conversations with ourselves, our loved ones, our children, our pets (anyone who will listen, really) about what our characters-- our imaginary friends-- are doing. These conversations turning what has existed inside of us into real words. When did we dream them? In our sleep? Occasionally. More often than not the plotting happens in a far corner of our brain while we're vacuuming, showering, driving, worrying, whatever.

Because when you're a writer, whatever you are writing never leaves you. Even if you think it's gone, it pops up when you least expect it.

So, for us, isn't all life multi-tasking?

1 comment:

  1. Some of the best conversations I have are with my dogs while I am writing.