This past weekend (and much of last week) I’ve been down with the flu. Apparently the back-to-school virus caught me, though I don’t have any school age children. Several of my coworkers do though, and I blame them for carrying it to me, or something. Regardless, today is the first day since Wednesday I actually woke up and didn’t feel like my cat had tried to bury me in her litter box while I slept.
Anyway, while I was down and out I still managed to get a huge editing/revising project done. This was mostly because I had sort of backed myself into a corner with a dumbly self-imposed deadline and I had to get it done. However, I’ve noted this behavior many times in myself. I can have weeks, even months, to get something done, but I usually end up doing it all once somewhere near the deadline, instead. On top of that, even when there’s not a deadline, I tend to be the type of person who will write nearly an entire book in two days and then spend the next week on the couch staring at Netflix. I’m a binge writer, a binge editor, a “do it all at once and then be lazy forever” type person.
I don’t know when, or how I got this way. It’s kind of just how my brain works. One would argue a slow, steady pace for a short time every day would be much more productive, but I’m happiest when I spend ten hours in a feverish typing frenzy and then don’t even look at writing for the next ten days. I can get a lot done, but I tend to get it all done at once. When my brain says “let’s write!” boy, am I gonna write. And it’s only gonna be during that time. I find that when I try to discipline myself to do “a little every day” I end up with horrible anxiety about making sure I get it done every single day, that I wedge it in there somewhere even if I don’t feel like writing. It makes me too squirrely.
I don’t know how to change this, or even if I should worry about doing so. Obviously, it works for me. I churn out books, and get them revised and edited, without issue. It’s just that I do it in marathons, instead of short dashes. My brain tends to be fickle too, and if I spend too long on one idea I end up bored of it.
I’m a bit impressed with myself I managed to do this editing project while zombie-ish and high on flu medicine, though. It looks like even when germs are crawling through me, my writing brain is on autopilot still.
How about you? Do you take things slow and steady, or like to do it all at once?