by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Last Friday I spent seven hours in my home office cleaning and organizing. Actually, my real goal was to find the floor. Seems simple, but after piling different boxes and baskets and rearranging things, it had become a mess. Like the bees working hard in my backyard, spring is a time for new starts and saying goodbye to old projects and failed dreams.
It amazes me how much paper this can all entail. Not only do I hoard office supplies in case a meteor hit leaves me without OfficeMax, but my writer tendencies to squirrel away pieces of paper, brochures, newspaper articles and notes can overwhelm me. When my pile management system is at the point I can’t find anything, including the cat, it’s time for the big spring purge.
As a former journalist, I hold on tightly to what is called “source material.” For the digital natives of the Internet age, this means it is the actual document where something was first said, as opposed to being copied and remade in 8,000 versions by everybody on YouTube. In other words, in a court of law or an IRS audit, you can pull out the source document and live to litigate again.
That is why one file cabinet drawer is full of all the source documents from the first edition of my book; those files are not going anywhere soon. But, the “this is interesting” and the “I should read this” and the “this would make a great romance story if I ever write about singing vampire cupcake makers” need to move on.
Our writing goals, dreams and desires change over time. That’s okay. I’m looking forward to finally getting my non-fiction work squared away this summer so I can get back to my first love, romance fiction. Military romance fiction that is, where there are storylines with veterans in every book.
But before that happens, all of us have to clean out our old, don’t like and ain’t never gonna happen projects so both our brains and surroundings are ready for new adventures and stories. A favorite de-cluttering book of mine says, “storage is sorrow.” So true.
Let the stories, clutter and paper which no longer work for your writing life loose into the cosmos so they can find the correct writer. We might all be amazed with what we find on our floors and in our minds. Happy Spring Cleaning!