Spring cleaning isn't just for windows. Why would anyone want to clean windows when the weather is just getting beautiful enough to take your notebook to the park? And while winter is turning into spring, it's also about the right time to give our writing-base New Year's resolutions a good scrubbing. Yes, it's a perfect time to spring clean not just our writing habits, but also re-discover time for writing that we might have used doing other things. Or maybe for you, it may be a time to organize your writing materials so you can get to them easier.
First of all, roll up your sleeves and take a good, hard look at your day, and then clean out those pockets…pockets of time I mean. A pocket could be a lunch hour at work, or possibly the twenty minutes it takes for the pizza to be delivered.But sometimes our time is so filled up with other stuff, it may take a little juggling (i.e., as PTA dinner dance volunteer, you’re signed up to hand write 400 place cards AND decorate the ballroom). If you’re like me, you’ve got a family, career, and pets that count on you, and even ten minutes alone is rare. Be creative! Try different ways to reclaim those pockets of time, such as carpooling, job sharing, volunteering for only one event, etc. And when you do discover your own pockets, you’ll find it’s just enough time to jot down an idea for a story, add a paragraph or two to your work in progress, and most importantly, keep you moving toward your dream. Dust off and organize those writing materials and find out what you absolutely need to be in your work area to be productive. For me, coffee. Printed outline. Research book for the scene I’m working on. Music CD. And of course, chocolate. I put the rest on the bookshelf in an easily accessible area. For the “this-is-nice-but-I-never-look-at stuff”, I piled it in one of those big green plastic tubs you can get at any home store. After all that, I took a deep, cleansing breath and felt rejuvenated—and most of all I felt ready to write! I cleaned away all my frustrations of not finding papers, re-writes, research materials, etc. The best part? I found a half hour pocket of time I would have normally used just to get ready to write.
Finally, see the results of your hard work shine by tracking your progress. Any wall or desk calendar will do. Just jot down your word count for the day in each square, and then total it up for the week. Voila! Who knew that cleaning out a few pockets and reorganizing your work space could bring you that much closer to your dream?