Friday, September 7, 2012

Barbie's Bunkhouse: Writer's Backhoe

Happy Friday everyone! Strange blog topic, I know, but you'll catch my drift in a minute.

We all know what a backhoe is used for in construction, right? It's the big monster truck that creeps onto the scene and knocks things down only to scoop them away with that big bucket. As I looked all around my quaint little writing area which is now barely big enough for my laptop or my hands to type...and I thought "Where's the freaking backhoe!?"

There are STACKS of books both on and below my desk. 2 empty mugs, my stack of printed off Twist of Fate chapters I'm editing, PILES of research/notes/characters sketches for the new series, not to mention index cards, a lamp, a file organizer rack jammed to the hilt with I-don't-even-remember what, and the leaning tower of binders/notebooks on top of that! yes, that is just the top of my desk folks.

Below are several craft bags full of my crochet yarn and magazines - because, you know, when I'm stuck in a story crochet is a nice way for me to clear my mind. Just don't tell my hubby there are more bags of yarn scraps the closet. Oy! *insert forehead slap* Gee...then there's the stack of file folders (you know, filled with ideas, kid papers from last school year, MY school-work notes, photos, and more I-can't-remember kind of stuff), 4 college class books I don't need and really need to return to Amazon for credit (because Amazon credit is fun!), more piles of papers??!! (is that even possible?), Oh yes, and all of THAT is stacked creatively on top of a big plastic file box - we've all got them, right? You know, the ones that look all top-secret and special with the closeable top that latches shut and a carry handle? Yeah...keep smiling, I know you have one. But seriously, mine is so packed full of OLD writing ideas and research and even MORE stuff I can't remember, that it must way 30 pounds! I won't be carrying it anywhere. At least there is still room for my feet under the desk.

Backhoe you say?? I think I need to be on a reality show or something. Maybe I will create one! The Writer's Reality - No Backhoe Required (just backing up!) ha ha. While yes, I understand that I need to do some MAJOR cleaning/clearing out. I am a certified pack-rat. I'm sentimental over everything and I hate to throw things out because you just never know when you might need it. And I've proven this point to my hubby MANY times over the last 20 years. But still....

If I really cleared out the "personal" junk/maybe keep, I would be left with my writing stuff. How can I get rid of it??? At one point I saved completed works on CD's. But now I've gone back to those stories and tweaked and made changes, so I suppose the old CD's could go. As much as I love technology, I'm very attached to my papers and written words. it's like, I can looked at typed notes and not make a connection. But when I look at my handwritten notes, I can put myself back to when I wrote it and remember exactly what I was thinking and where I was going with it! It's true! I think it's the images of the loops and lines in writing and jog the memory.

It doesn't matter how cluttered my paper is with notes, either. I will still be able to follow it and know exactly what I was doing. Now, I've tried to neatly copy my notes, and to be honest the new notes don't have the same effect. Has anyone else ever had that happen? I think it's funny how the mind works. Sure, the new notes look very orderly and easy to follow....but the passion behind the scribble is gone.

So do I really need the backhoe to swoop in and remove my clutter? No, because to my writer's mind, the clutter is a motivator to dive in and finish. I think I just need to "learn" to organize the clutter so that when a story is done or into a different stage, it can be neatly set aside until I dive in again.

Oh, and as a reminder to all: we know that our notes are not always safe from being accidentally tossed out or misplaced. But as some of us know all too well, our technology isn't always safe from destruction either.

Be creatively conscious and find a way to backup your files. If you're not worried about your actual computer program/files, at least backup your pictures and writing. Pictures can't be replaced, and let's face it, you won't write a chapter the same way twice - let alone an entire book. :-)

We don't need a backhoe, we just need a proper BACK-UP!

Enjoy the Weekend everyone!!


Cassy Pickard said...

Barbie: I laughed. I refuse to let you see my desk. It's a total mess. It's an old wooden desk and the legs were starting to be wobbly. On my last trip a friend offerend to take it apart and glue all the joints. Great! I thought. Well I'm still looking for things. It's totally disconcerting. My next trip was just canceled and so YEAH it's clean up and organize time.

Lindsay said...

Some people, me being one, say a messy work area is the sign of a creative mind. Don't change a thing.

Liz Lipperman said...

This is funny stuff. I know you will find this hard to believe about me, but I am a clutterless freak. I absolutely go nuts if I have clutter.

That doesn't mean I'm organized, though. I just have a clean desk!!

Anita Clenney said...

Barbie, your space sounds like mine. My computer is in my laundry room. I have dirty laundry nearby, along with bookshelves filled with STUFF. I don't even know what all of it is. I want to be like Liz. I used to be like Liz. Kids screwed up my organizational skills. :)

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Whew! so it's nice to know I'm not alone!! LOL. Sounds like Liz is alone in this one!

Anita, I totally agree with you. I USED to be a neat freak. Then kids came along and things are more "relaxed". If you saw my house it's definitely clean and neat, and what I like to call comfortable. So'll fine a few piles here and there. :-)