Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Context Switching (Creative Diary - Part 4)

My friends in the Performance sector of the IT industry will understand... A system basically grinds to a halt when it spends its time context switching, paging, and constantly searching, loading, and reloading memory. Nothing gets done. 

For my non-IT savvy friends... Imagine having 10 tasks to achieve in one hour. Instead of doing them one at a time, or grouping them together and doing meaningful chunks of related tasks together. Assume instead, that you were forced to spend one minute on each task. Regardless of your progress, being forced to switch task at the end of that minute. You'd soon realize that more time is spent setting up, cleaning up, and moving between tasks, than actually spent working on a task. All overhead - No results. 

Why am I telling you this? It basically sums up my writing efforts over the last month. My day-to-day family life has been so busy of late, that there have been very few opportunities to write. Those opportunities that did present themselves were usually so short in duration, and spaced so far apart, that I'd forget where I was up to. I'd have to reread my entire current chapter (effectively loading the chapter into short-term memory), to get my mind in the right place to proceed. By the time I reread all that was necessary, my writing window would come to an end and I'd barely make any progress at all. 

I did this so many times that I then became overly critical of the beginning of the chapter and spent what precious time I did have, rewording and modifying what I'd already written. Even the best of paragraphs can become somewhat dull after the 10th reading.

There is joy to behold. Tonight I broke the cycle!

Whilst a long way from completion, Chapter 8 of J159 now consists of 16 pages, with a good helping of notes for much more. Only time will tell if this winning trend continues. For the sake of my test readers... I hope it does. 

Happy Reading & Writing Folks!
Renee 😀