Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Not-Quite-Spring Cleaning

Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic to expect that now that we're in MARCH spring might actually come. Someday. Preferably by the 20th. Like, you know, it's supposed to. (As I stare out my window at the mountains of snow still outside, I have my doubts.)

Anyway, flipping the calendar away from the hibernating month of February to the renewing month of March, miraculously made me want to clean out my office closet and bookshelves this weekend, throw away paper clutter (of which I have a great deal) and even reorganize the precariously stacked boxes in the garage. And, yeah, some of this was pure writing procrastination but, mostly, it was because those little messes everywhere were interfering with my ability to concentrate. Get rid of the old to make way for the new, and all that.

Problems arose, however. I've found it kind of fascinating that in the four years we've lived in this house I've managed to squirrel away stacks of paper in every available cubby hole in my office. Paper with intriguing bits of information on them, yes, but sheets I've rarely if ever touched in the months/years since I put them there. How useful are they to me if I have them but never read them?

Not very, right?

But I'm still not sure what to do with them all. Do I throw away folders of scribbled notes I've compiled on such riveting topics as "Plot Development and Act Structure" (which really is an interesting subject, but the pages themselves are probably illegible to anyone but me) since I doubt I'll get around to reading them again? Or do I keep them on the chance that I just might need to refer to them later and that whatever important story element I'm seeking will magically be found among their pages? It's happened before...

Mom's voice in my head says, "Get rid of them all. They're a fire hazard." These words are typically accompanied by an irriated huff.

But I'm still unsure...so they're now out of their cubby holes and sitting in the middle of my office, taking up carpet space and staring up at me, rather annoyed by my well-intentioned but not very effective attempt at spring cleaning.

Any suggestions? (Or commiserations? :-)


Eliza said...

I went through a lot of papers a few weeks ago -- we're talking 10 year old receipts, among other things. I felt much better after it was done.

Of course, I was using the task to procrastinate, but at least I got something done.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Yes, what to do with all those workshop handouts? I was going to go through them all at one point and divide into subject folders, but still haven't. I'm left-brained, but not insane :)

Nadine said...

No suggestions from me I'm afraid... I have the same problem!