I’ve come to realize that it’s not the amount of time I have to write that matters, but the amount of mental real estate I can give to my story. I struggle to write part time, when it’s the last thing I do after a day of work, but when I can give my entire mind to my story, it flies. In a single hour I can do much better work than in two hours another day.
I believe this has to do with multitasking, and how humans are terrible at it. Our brains are single core processors, so the more we split our attention, the worse we perform. That’s why I found myself having so much trouble going between editing one story and writing another – I was dividing my attention too much, so I wasn’t able to give my mind over to either story fully.
This was a watershed realization for me, but it applies to more than just writing. Here’s the lesson: if you want to be great at something, if you want to create something truly magnificent, give your mind entirely to it. The more you divide your attention, the more mediocre your results will be.
Go deep and fast, not shallow and slow. You’ll be amazed by what you can do.