Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A moment of truth!

Last week, I had to clean out my closets and drawers. I didn't want to. I love all my clothes. Even the old things. But I couldn't get some drawers closed and my closet is small, so...I trudged on.

You know the questions you must ask when cleaning out drawers. Will I really ever wear this again? Sure, it looks like it could stand one more wearing, but, seriously, will I ever pull this out on the drawer and wear it? And what about...Really? Do you think you'll actually be this size some day? Ouch. That one hurts. And then there's the ever popular ... Do you seriously think THIS will ever come back into style? I clung to platform shoes for a decade, positive they'd come back. And they have. But they're different and my ankles don't like them anymore.

When it comes to clothes and drawers and closing drawers, we all have to face reality sometimes. Good Will needs what we no longer fit into. And even if we're forced to put some old T-shirts in the trash, our world will be a better, more organized place for it.

I survived moment-of-truth-for-clothes-day, but today when I stepped into my office and my gaze lit on the two boxes of notebooks with old ideas in them and the two file drawers of folders full of new ideas...I had moment-of-truth de ja vous.

Shouldn't I give the same respect to my file drawers that I gave to my dresser drawers? Do I really need those two boxes of notebooks? Will I ever actually look at those ideas again?

I sometimes wonder if clutter doesn't prevent us from going forward. Knowing I had two dressers (not just drawers entire dressers) filled with shorts and T-shirts, I kept myself from new things for a year. And dressed out of style. Which is hideous for a woman over forty because you might as well wear a sign that says, Hey, I bought this in the eighties and I'm clinging to my youth.

Is the same true for story ideas? Does having 80 old ideas in folders and scribbled on notebooks keep some of us from moving forward? Is our old vampire idea now hopelessly out of date because vampires have evolved? Is the time-travel we thought so quirkly and fresh now kind of silly?


I also think clutter weighs us down. We look around at our disorganized office, knowing we can only write one book at a time, or maybe (if we're lucky and speedy) five or six books a year, and overwhelm trips our procrastination switch. Why bother? Why try? I can't write books for all the ideas I have...so why not go swimming?

So as I sit here in my cluttered office, with a desk littered with papers, not having written a word today (LOL) I wonder...maybe it's time. Maybe I should admit some ideas are outdated, just plain wrong, or something I'm no longer interested in and toss them.

Wow. I just shivered. Tossing an idea is something I've never before done.

I guess I'll have to ponder this awhile!


By the way, I'll be in New Jersey over the weekend, giving CAN THIS MANUSCRIPT be saved to the eager chapter members for their monthly meeting. This is an updated version so even if you've seen it before, it will be new!

I can't wait to see everyone!



Denise said...


What a thought-provoking blog. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who lets old clothes and other clutter stick around far too long. You've inspired me to take a long, hard look at some tasks I've ignored far too long.

Susan said...

Thanks, Denise. I still haven't fully decided to toss the old notebooks, but at least now I'm considering it!