Monday, January 05, 2009

Anchors Away!



No, I’m not going on a cruise. That would be nice – well, except for the seasickness, but anyway – No. I’m talking about getting rid of anchors...not the heavy metal hooks that keep boats from floating away, but the junk in my life and my house that keeps me from moving forward.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been cleaning things out – book shelves, closets, etc. My ultimate plan is to redesign my den/office into a more comfortable space. This will require buying some new furniture [must pump some dough back into the economy after all] and re-arranging all my ‘stuff’.

Saturday I did the bookshelves. I let go of a lot of books I’d been holding onto and freed up a lot of space. I can’t say I ruthlessly decimated my ‘keeper’ shelf, but I came to terms with a lot of books that I was keeping just because I had all the other ones by a certain author. Many of these I know I will never read again, so why bother still having them? I also identified probably a dozen books that I would love to read again [stay tuned for a Beyond the Back List post one of these days]. I feel lighter having divested myself of about 70 pounds of books I no longer need.

Sunday, I cleaned out my ‘drawer’ – now, when I say ‘drawer’ I mean the place where I keep all the manuscripts and parts of manuscripts that have been relegated to a ‘drawer’ – the slush pile, so to speak. Now, before you faint, bear in mind, I all this stuff is on disk, so all I really did was chuck out the hard copies of stuff I have to admit I . Have. No. Intention. Of working on ever again.

Surely you jest! [I bet you’re saying that.] A writer should never throw away anything they’ve written. Hmm, well maybe that’s true, but I stopped seeing these snippets of half remembered plots as fodder for future best sellers a long time ago and started seeing them as the stuff weighing down one corner of my den. Throwing all the loosely stapled chapters, hand written notes [oops, okay so not everything was on disk] and partially marked up crit copies of stories I long ago decided I no longer liked, was extremely liberating. Now all those unfinished stories are gone [well, they’re technically not completely gone]. They’re cleared away to make room for brand new ideas and I’m no longer held in one place by all the stories I didn’t finish and should have. The anchors have been lifted and I’m ready to sail into new waters.

Next project: Buy some Dramamine.
Posted by Jennifer Colgan/Bernadette Gardner

4 comments:

Jen said...

That's a great idea, tossing those anchors, I'm going to steal it.

I too have a "drawer" -- the dreaded drawer which mocks me every time I peer into it.

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Tell me about it. All those half finished or half started stories saying, "Well?? When is it MY turn?" Horrible. I couldn't deal anymore so I made them go away. Bwahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

LOL LINDA!

I KNOW THE FEELING, BUT BEING HOMEBOUND IN WINTER I INHALE BOOKS THEN PASS ON TO NURSING HOMES AND HEAR HOW THE OLDER WOMAN ACT TO BE THE FIRST ONE TO GET THEM..... MUST BE SOME HOT HAWT NIGHTS IN THE ROOMS!! LOL SEND ANY YA DON'T WANT MY WAY!

LINDA B

Amy said...

I made a similar commitment at Solstice - to let go of and get rid of the things that are holding me back and keeping me from the kind of life (calm and uncluttered) that I desperately need - but most of all, deserve. The physical purging is going very slowly as I'm still recovering from an auto accident this fall, and can't do all I want to, at least as fast as I want to. But I, too, like the anchor analogy beyond weighing us down - haul up that anchor and set sail for brighter days in calm waters!