Clean

Yesterday was a day in which I didn’t write. Not a single word. I didn’t think of writing, didn’t even make an attempt. I was another person yesterday, one who slept late, who shopped, who cleaned, which involved getting rid of the old manuscript pages that had been clogging up the bedroom, and putting clean clothes on actual hangers and stowing them away in the actual closet, where—it has been said—clothes belong. I was about to do the dishes when I felt too drained to continue and decided I was done for the day, even though the presents have not yet been wrapped.

I woke up this morning and looked around the clean bedroom. It’s amazing: the floor can be seen! I have a hard time letting go of my old drafts, but right now it feels good to get rid of them. When I was shoving them in the bag, I saw my line edits, my cross-outs, my different versions dated and numbered to infinity. I won’t need them. Thinking of them gone makes me want to go home now and pitch all the old drafts from other projects out of my closet (and shelves, and under the dresser, and under the couch, and I think I have a tower of old novel drafts acting as a table in one spot…) to start fresh for 2007.

All this waste of paper makes me want to work differently. I’ve been working through drafts of that short story, but this time emailing it back and forth using “Track Changes”—it feels somehow cleaner this way. I can view the changes, or make them invisible. I don’t want to be a walking advertisement for Microsoft (although I would for Apple—love you guys! if I tell everyone, will you send me that new Macbook?), but it’s better than cutting down fifteen trees just so I can revise freely.

Part of me wants to get rid of everything in the apartment—except E, who looked especially adorable this morning—and start completely fresh. On occasion, I think I could even live without my books. Oh, wait, no. That’s crazy. What writer can live without her books?

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4 thoughts on “Clean

  1. e December 23, 2006 / 7:29 pm

    i say we throw everything out except for our computers and the coffee maker.

    thank you for revealing the floor. it’s absolutely wonderful.

  2. Annika December 23, 2006 / 7:50 pm

    I don’t know — we got rid of half our books and it’s wonderful. (Actually, they are sitting in a corner, waiting to go to the used bookstore that buys for cash instead of credit. But it will be wonderful.)

  3. yojo December 23, 2006 / 7:57 pm

    you want to come over and help me do the same thing to my apartment? I’ve been teetering on the book issue myself.

    I think e’s idea is better though.

  4. funky uncle mustard December 24, 2006 / 2:34 am

    A bit of clean in our surroundings can make a world of inspiration. I’m chest deep in clutter myself and I KNOW it is killing my ability to create. . .

    it adds stress.

    good for you!

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