I am writing this last week – if you see what I mean, as I’m off on holiday soon. I’m trying to get organised but I have realised, after many years of trying, that organisation is not my strength.
I make lots of ‘to do’ lists, but I’m always too busy to read them. I always think I can fit ten times more things in a day than I actually can and I always say yes to new projects because I get excited about them. If there is such a thing as chronic multi-task-ism then I have it.
I think it’s because so many things interest me. At any one time I’m reading at least five books – then I get ideas and want to try them out. Recently, I’ve been reading the autobiography of a famous chef and have become obsessed with making fresh pasta. Before that I read an article on macramé and we now have several new (and several unfinished) pot holders. Reading a book about ultra –runners (who run 100 mile marathons) last year prompted me to take up running, (although, I consider 3 miles to be completely ultra!) Then, while I’m running I listen to podcasts about writing, which means I’m always thinking about new ways to plot my next book or trying new genres. I even have books on how to be organised!
This is a fun way to live but not particularly good for getting projects finished. I often think it would be better if I did one thing properly rather than trying to do ten things at once. I’m sure my agent would prefer I sat down with an idea and stuck to it! I also think my family would rather I wasn’t quite so excitable, bursting into the living room and saying things like,
‘I’ve been reading this book about this family in Greece and for tea they eat figs that they pick off the tree outside their kitchen and they make their own goat cheese. I think we should try it. Of course we’d have to get a fig tree….and a goat but – ‘
To which I get the typical reply, ‘Mum, we want chicken nuggets. Now can you please be quiet? Britain’s Got Talent is on.’
On the other hand, I read recently that creative people need to be interested in lots of things. Then, when they come to create something they have loads of inspiration to draw on. In fact, learning about something new actually creates more connections in your brain, so you put concepts together and come up with new ideas. So, perhaps I’ll never be an expert at anything except being disorganised, but at least I know I have an awful lot of material in my head!
Now, all I need to remember is passport, tickets, money…Oh yes, and don’t forget to post the blog!