My husband is always telling me that a person really can’t multitask. No matter how much we (and most specifically, me) want to believe that we can accomplish more than one task at a time, he is stubbornly against this theory. Me, on the other hand, I’m a big fan of multitasking.
One of my favorite multitaks is that of writing and movie watching. I love movies. More than that, I love movies that I’ve seen a million times. There’s nothing better than watching a movie that I can quote the words from or sing along with the songs (go musicals!). Even though my movie collection is rather expansive at this point, I still tend to watch the same ones over and over.
When I started getting serious about my writing and it began to take up my free time (that previously had been filled with reading and awesome movies) I decided that I didn’t want to give up my precious movie watching, and so, I merged the two.
I do a lot of my writing either late at night (after everyone else has gone to bed) or early in the morning (before anyone gets up). With having two kiddos (ages 8 and soon to be 10) running around, it can be hard to find quiet moments to really make any progress on my current projects. Not to mention, there’s work, the kids’ karate class, household chores, church, family events and everything else called life. I’ve learned to really cherish silence and the lack of interruptions when my kids, bless their hearts, are sleeping, at school or are out playing with friends. And what do I do with this most coveted silence? I fill it up with movies.
I should state for the record that I don’t count movies/music as taking away from the silence, as long as you manage them correctly. Movies and or music can be just as distracting as my daughter rambling about rainbows and ponies or my son wanting me to come watch him drop kick something that will inevitably fly into something else and breakage will happen. The trick, I have found, is to be careful about what movies/music you choose to multitask in while writing.
For instance, a movie I’ve never seen or one I haven’t seen in a long time, will be very distracting. This gives me a built in excuse to watch Little Shop of Horros for the eight-hundredth time and not feel guilty about it (not that I would feel guilty anyway, but thinking of my poor husband who can’t stand to watch the same things over and over). As for music, for me, I can’t listen to anything too bouncy or dramatic because I find myself dancing in my seat and making wild hand motions and eventually singing out loud and well…the writing is forgotten as I drown in my own little concert.
So, just for fun, here’s a list (because I love lists) of some of the movies that I love to write to.
1. Little Shop of Horrors
2. Grease 2
4. The Maxx
6. Another Steak Out
7. That Thing You Do!
8. The Dark Crystal
9. All Things Muppets/Looney Tunes/Dr. Seuss/Disney
11. The Witches of Eastwick
13. Jaws (and all its sequels except number 2)
14. It’s Pat
15. The Goonies
16. The Parent Trap (1961)
18. God, the Devil, and Bob
19. About a Boy
20. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
22. One Crazy Summer
23. Better Off Dead
24. Oliver Twist
26. Benny and Joon
27. The Addams Family/Addams Family Values
28. The Princess Bride
29. The Other Sister
31. The Sound of Music
32.The Adventures of Pete and Pete
Ok, 32 sounds like a good round number to stop on. I could keep going, but there’s a snapshot of some of the (non-distracting) movies that I like to write to. Do I still sing along to the songs? Yes. Do I still quote lines and mimic the characters’ funny faces in my favorite scenes? You bet. Do I still manage to make progress on whatever I’m working on? Absolutely.
And so, to my husband, who once walked in and saw me sitting on the couch reading while watching Lady and the Tramp and listening to my ipod all at the same time and all he could do was shake his head and walk back out of the room, to him, I dedicate this post. Oh, how I love him 🙂