It would appear that I totally spaced this month’s posting. A lot has been stewing about in my brain in August, and it bloomed into a full on mental crisis, which is always fun.
Sooooo….. Since I missed September’s prompt,I shall promptly come up with something else.
Ummm…..Okay, this is going to sound really corny, but I read my horoscope through Co-Star. Not because I deeply believe in planetary alignments and all that, but because sometimes the little tidbits offered as advice, while wildly unspecific, can be thought provoking.
One Co-Star tidbit from August has stuck with me for the last few weeks of mental chaos: “Consider the possibilities of an honest mess.”
Honest messes happen. You notice room X is totally unusable because it’s totally thrashed. There are UFO’s in there from the 1980’s that you’ve forgotten about. It’s almost a Superfund site at this point.
This is an excellent moment to take a deep breath and look at the pile of doom, not as an unwelcome chore or a guilt trip to the moon and back, but as a chance to sit down and evaluate each individual piece.
Yeah, that distressed denim long jacket idea really fired you up at the time, but are you still invested in tearing up that entire pile of old jeans you collected to make it? That pile of yarn you have because you feel bad about throwing out half a skein after you’ve finished some crochet thing and thought you’d collect enough remnants to make a stash buster blanket—are you really thinking about doing it anytime in the near future?
Can you donate this to a thrift store? Maybe a friend would be interested in these items over here. Can you freecycle this thingy, or just straight up throw that away? What can I do to make this section more useful? Shelves? A desk?
Editing one’s writing can be looked at in much the same way. Yes, it’s the chore that no one wants to do, but if you just look at each piece individually instead of the whole pile of word barf as one big inseparable mass of goo, and consider it while asking yourself those kinds of questions, it might become less of a chore.
Does this scene really work in this place in the story? Does it work at all in this story? I really don’t want to just delete it, but I can make a file of deleted scenes that I can rummage through and possibly recycle for another story. Yeah, I thought the dog was a cute addition to the story, but really I don’t use him for anything. Can I re-home him somehow? Ooooooo……that must’ve come from that time I was intensely interested in hummingbirds. Do hummingbirds even fit in the story anymore?
Okay, it’s a stretch, I’m stressed out right now, but quite frankly, I have been spending a great deal of time this past month considering my mess as a whole and what I can do to reduce it.
Taking the time to consider an honest mess can lead to some very liberating moments.
Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or how to construct a whole new identity and career so you can abandon your current life and wash up in a new country for the next ten years as a form of self care.