Friday, August 27, 2010

How clean is your desk?

Mine’s trashed. My bookshelves are running over. The floorspace in our office is occupied by an enormous cutting table with an unfinished sewing project strewn about the top. I have a new bulletin board and some inspirational plaques to hang on the wall above my desk. They’ve been on the floor for a month. And my collection of RWR’s and Poets and Writers magazines are sprinkled throughout the house.

Sounds a bit like my writing at the moment too.
Too many projects, all in different states of disarray. I mean completion. Different states of completion. Right. I’m not really sure that it’s a problem. Right now, I’m leaning toward labeling the messy-desk-stage as part of my “process”.
It’s nuts. And sometimes it’s overwhelming. I will hit a point where the mess is so bad that I avoid even entering the office for days on end.  If I’m writing at that point, it’s in Starbucks, or on the couch. And then I’ll decide that enough is enough and clean and organize the whole space. Everything gets straightened, dusted, cleared, organized, sorted, boxed, and labeled.  At that point, the space is so clean that I waver between wanting to spend all my free time in there, just to enjoy the serenity of it, and being afraid to do any actual work. Because work will mess things up again.
That’s totally how I write. Right now, I’m doing final edits on one manuscript to send it to a requesting agent from Nationals. I’m (mostly mentally) re-plotting another to fix some issues that multiple people have pointed out. And I’m in the early stages of first drafting a third. There is another manuscript simmering on the back burner, requesting tweaks and submission (I’m trying to ignore it). And ideas for three or four more keep trickling through my brain.  Some days the amount of work is overwhelming, and I just avoid the writing altogether (or switch gears and start dinking with my website again, or go shopping). But I think the blitz is coming. The cleaning/organizing/tying-up-all-loose-ends blitz. The one where I finish my edits, and polish my formatting and spend way too much money entering contests and too much time sending query letters.
And if this cycle is like my last couple of cycles, once I do that cleaning blitz, I will barely touch a keyboard again for a couple of months. I’ll find myself sitting on the couch watching movies and HGTV and Food Network, and baking and planning fancy dinners (instead of the frozen chicken nuggets and cereal that we’ve eaten way too often lately).
And then, slowly, I’ll begin writing again. And I’ll collect a few pages in one spot. And leave a craft book marked and open. And maybe stick a postcard of a setting inspiration to my bulletin board. And then, before I know it, I’ll be back to the messy desk stage.

What about you? How clean is your desk?

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