Monday, September 18, 2006

Cleaning Frenzy

I spent the weekend steamrolling from task to task, getting quite a bit accomplished, only to roll right past blogging. It just wasn't on my mind. So this morning will be some random thoughts from the past weekend that may or may not inspire you, but as I tell my husband, "If you want to know what is going on with me, check out my blog."

We're getting our house ready to put on the market. Those of you who have sold a house before know what a pain this is. Ours needs more work than most, or maybe it just seems that way to me because it's ours. Anyway, our current project is getting the living room ready to paint a more neutral shade than the Ocean Green that currently graces the walls. So we moved furniture, washed walls, and decluttered. My feet are killing me, but we should be ready to paint next weekend. Can the Playfriends say Painting Party? (Just kidding! I'm saving y'all for when we paint the OUTSIDE of the house. Mwahahaha!)

I discovered something really interesting during this entire process. The more I decluttered, the freer I felt. Now, I recently heard Problem Child give a workshop on Writing Process, during which she discussed different learning styles. I'm a visual learner. One thing she mentioned is that, for visual learners, clutter around the work area can stifle creativity. (I know this sounds rambling, but I'm going somewhere, just hang with me.) This process of cleaning out my living room, where my desk just happens to reside, seems to have helped the stifled feeling my work has had lately.

This occurred to me on Saturday night. After hours and hours on my feet, I took the evening off and worked on my revisions. They flowed like they haven't in quite a while. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Yesterday, I wrote some more, desperate to get this proposal in the mail soon. Again, the words just came, visuals appeared, and the characters made much more sense.

This could be totally random... It could be the result of some justified time away from my work... This chapter just might be a whole lot better than the previous ones... Or it might be that I freed up some constraints I'd been wrestling with by cleaning out the clutter... Hmm.... Will we ever know?

So, do you find it helps to straighten up your workspace or is this just a form of procrastination for you?


Revision Challenge:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 50


Kathy said...

Congrats on getting so much done this weekend, Angel! Renovating a home is stressful and takes much longer when you're doing the work on your own. Just remember that each step brings you closer to the finished product.


Problem Child said...

Learning style aside, there's also that whole Fung Shui (sp?) thing about clutter blocking the flow of creativity. Great going though!

And, I thought I'd just let you know, I'm allergic to paint. Yep. So sorry.

Playground Monitor said...

I know an author who completely cleans her office after every book. Sort of an "out with the old and in with the new" philosophy. Seems to work for her.

I spent Saturday morning dusting my office. I had to shampoo the carpet with dry carpet cleaner a few weeks ago after spilling a glass of iced tea . That stuff leaves a coat of dust on everything. I'd been putting it off and finally just did it. It's amazing how much nicer it is to work at my desk with the dust and the clutter gone.

Now if I can just get the DH to take the box of our combined high school and college yearbooks to the attic I'll be making some real progress.

As for feng shui... I took an online course called "Feng Shui for Writers" that was designed specifically for writers' offices or writing spaces. I did as much as I could and afterwards I sold everything I submitted to the magazines -- for a while. I think my feng shui may need a tune-up.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

I'm a visual learner, too, which makes it a miracle that I ever finished anything! My office is always a mess. Right now I'm in the process of a major overhaul, which means I've thrown out a lot of stuff, but there are piles everywhere. Yikes. Eventually I'll get there. I'm considering getting a smaller desk so I'll have less room for junk.

Honestly, I think using a different part of the brain (the closet cleaning section, wherever that might be) gives the creative part of the brain a rest. It always helps me to think more clearly. You'd think my closets would be in great shape, but sadly that is not the case.


Smarty Pants said...

See, cleaning is not just a great procrastination technique, but also a way to fuel creativity!

I think I'm primarily a kinesthetic learner, which is why my desk is covered with toys, I fidget and doodle while I'm listening to people talk, and I always worked on the homework in class while the teacher lectured on it. I always got in trouble in school for not paying attention. They just didn't realize I have to draw to hear. Woe be the teacher that thought they would catch me not listening by asking me a smart question I thought I couldn't answer...

(Yes, my mother had a lot of parent-teacher conferences...)

Smarty Pants said...

make that - ask me a question THEY thought I couldn't answer...