Monday, April 26, 2010
What's This Pile For?
I'm currently reading a book about writer's block that has taken quite a different direction than I expected. The author discusses (sometimes in confusing detail) how our brain works and the implications on the creative process. Especially fascinating are the discussions of right brain versus left brain and the struggles between the two. A couple of sections really highlighted some patterns I've seen in my own life, but one in particular was spot on.
Creative types tend to be "pilers".
He says that creative people tend to make piles of items they use all the time or feel they'll need to come back to. One reason is because if we can't see it, then it doesn't exist (to a certain extent). I can't tell you how true this is for me! Though I try to keep them neat, I have several piles on my desk, and have had to resort to file holders that are out in the open, because if I put something away, I forget about it.
This same reason is part of the source of my "plotter" mentality. It isn't just that I have to know where I'm going. I write things down as I think of them, because if I don't, I'll forget it (same thing with my To Do list). When I first started writing I had piles of paper, scraps and napkins where I'd written down ideas. The organizer in me insisted this all had to be neater, so I started organizing in a notebook... and thus a plotter was born.
The author says this is a problem because though we pile things around us so we can keep track of them, the clutter distracts us when we're trying to write. We sit down to type and "see" all the stuff we should work on besides our books. His solution for his desk was an open filing system so he could see the files, but not the mess itself. I guess my own filing system and plotting notebooks are a similar solution, though I still have piles that need to be dealt with.
So what about y'all? Are you a "piler" or "neat and tidy"?
The Playfriends will all be attending our local writing chapter's 13th Annual Romance Readers Luncheon on May 15th in Huntsville, AL. If you live in the Tennessee Valley, this is a wonderful event! Registration deadline is May 1st.