Monday, November 08, 2004

Getting Organized

How do things get out of hand so quickly? Books, papers, mail, clothes, whatnots, magazines, odds and ends, everything! It can happen to anyone. It happens to me a lot. Even my e-mail in box gets cluttered and takes on a life of its own. (Smile)

I’ve put my foot down on a lot of clutter lately. Wait, I don’t mean things are so cluttered that the mass has spilled over onto the floor. (Smile) What I meant was I’m trying hard to put an end to clutter. That’s a big deal for a pack rat like me. I’ve gotten rid a lot of stuff -- out of my closet, out of my shelves, out of my cabinets, out of my files, and even out of my in box. I can’t live up to that declutter law that says if you haven’t used it in six months, toss it; but I’m getting better.

And part of that is getting organized.

So I’m working on my desk, my files, even my computer files, and the info I have collected for the three manuscripts I have underway right now.

(Yes, I said three. I’ve had a long standing rule of only allowing myself to work on two manuscripts at a time, never starting a third until the present number one or number two were completed, so don’t ask me where I slipped this time. Oh, why the rule you ask. Because it’s so easy to reach that half way mark, where many of us find ourselves getting stuck, and move on to another manuscript. That’s why so many writers have so many started manuscripts and none completed.)

I’ve made myself a new folder for each of the three I’m working on. I’ve printed up every note and idea I’ve sent myself about them through e-mail. I’ve printed up the on-line research I did for them, I’ve gathered up the magazine articles or any other paper with info for them that I have collected, and all of this stuff has been put into one of those three folders. I have a few completed manuscripts that I want to polish up as well, and I’m going to do the same thing for each one of them. That way when I get an idea or a spark of something that I could fix in one, I can jot it down or print it up, and put it in that folder. The same if I read an article or find a bit of research that might come in handy for one. Should make things a lot easier and should keep me from losing ideas and research that I might really wish I had later. (I actually used to do this when I first started writing. I should never have stopped.)

As far as the rest of the house being organized? Like I said, I’m getting there. I do find it harder to let go of some things than others. Since I’ve lost a brother and both of my parents, anything that they liked a lot or gave to me, or made, I just find painful to give up, even if it’s broken or not useful. But I’m learning that it’s their memories I cherish, not their things. I just have to keep telling myself that letting go of their things isn’t letting go of them. They will always be with me.

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