On writing, multi-tasking, multi-screens, Miller, Don DeLillo, ADD, the “paradox of choice,” etc…

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Here’s a headline that’ll make you want to driver your car off a cliff: “In Data Deluge, Multi-Taskers Go to Multi-Screens.” To summarize:

“Workers in the digital era can feel at times as if they are playing a video game, battling the barrage of e-mails and instant messages, juggling documents, Web sites and online calendars. To cope, people have become swift with the mouse, toggling among dozens of overlapping windows on a single monitor.
But there is a growing new tactic for countering the data assault: the addition of a second computer screen. Or a third.”

Ugh.

There’s a picture of a gal who uses 3 computers to writer her blog about Facebook (!)

But, I guess it does point to one of the many banes of the modern age: too much clutter, data, and white noise. And, of course, it’s a problem that just doesn’t plague computer and coder-types. It can affect all of us, especially writers.

Which is where Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing come back into play, as astutely noted by the blog “Love the One You’re With”:

In this age of multi-tasking and trying to do too much, it is no wonder that we as writers are sometimes overwhelmed by choices. [Ed: aka, the "tyranny of choice."] We have so many half-finished novels sitting in our desk drawers, so many great short stories or poems that need a good once over. But there isn’t enough time in the day.

Which is where Miller’s Commandments numbers 1 and 10 come into play:

#1 – Work on one thing at a time until finished.
#10 – Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.

Not sure how Miller would have felt about working on three screens simultaneously though.

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