Every month I look at projects that seem to have bred on my desk while I wasn’t looking. I’m sure every writer goes through this phenomenon once in a while. I always have big projects, small ones, and ones waiting to be given the light of day.
While trying to come up with a post here today, I took a good look at my eight-foot desk—a really good look. I may have taken on a bit much lately.
Among the piles of debris stacked along two thirds of the right side are the magazines and journals from the past two months that I have yet to read. Yes, I do keep that stapler in plain sight, so that I don’t have to rummage through those piles on a doomed search. I have a vague idea what’s contained in those piles; vague being the operative word. The dragons keep stray projects from deserting.
Really important prelim work for one of the novels I’m writing is piled prominently on the floor next to my chair so that I can grab it at a moment’s notice.
I know; chaos. Right?
Sorting through everything doesn’t come easy for me; it’s a lot like chewing food. The reason is that I’m not sure what I’m going to need or how soon, which means I can’t quite put it aside yet. Living in Limbo is something that’s been necessary for quite a while. It’s not one of my favorite locales, but it beats living nowhere.
Swallowing digital bits and bytes is much easier. Believe it or not, my computer files are much more organized. I keep thinking about a piece from 60 Minutes done by Andy Rooney. He wanted to know if creative and productive people kept their offices neat and orderly, or if they looked like his—out of control on steroids.
I remember watching him wonder through the halls, taking an informal poll about offices belonging to his colleagues. With camera dutifully following him, chronicling all that was to be seen, Rooney discovered that his domain was, in many aspects, more organized than several others on the staff. Because he knew how hard each of these men and women worked each day, and the types of schedules they kept, he concluded that people who were very productive and creative, were also messy and preferred it that way.
When I envision some of those offices, I can look at mine and smile. At least my books occupy a bookcase, I have no uneaten food lying around, I know where my extra checks are, and my computer is easy to get to. I have actual clear floor space.
Andy might be surprised at how disappointingly uncluttered my office area really is. Or, I could be kidding myself in a fit of guilt-ridden denial.
Must do something about this--I’ve ordered my actual work, now to tackle the physical side of things.
Until later, peeps. Let’s see, if I get all of that pile into the right-side file cabinet…