As a young mother, I used to be proud of my multi-tasking skills.
Let's do it all. We're already tired anyway.
That was my motto.
So I looked after the kids, freelanced in various capacities, learned web design, cleaned the house, cooked the dinners, fetched, carried - why not do it all? There was SO MUCH I wanted to do ... and anyway, come what may, it was a stage in my life when I was going to be tired at the end of the day whether I did the other things or not.
But once I started writing, multi-tasking just didn't work.
You can't write a novel if half your brain is planning dinner.
You can't get into character if you're checking your emails.
You're not writing if you're tweeting.
You can't multi-task, even if it's multi-tasking about your novel.
You can't immerse yourself in a scene and work out another chapter at the same time.
You can't develop a character while trying to think of a new twist in the plot.
You've got to tackle things one at a time. Otherwise you're not doing that moment in your story justice. If you're not fully immersed, you're just writing notes about an idea.
You have to surrender to the story.
No, not just to the story, to the chapter.
No, not just the chapter, but to the moment in the chapter.
And only then will your characters come to life.
Writing is surrender.