Do you remember “The Song That Doesn’t End”? DON’T watch it unless you want to hear that song in your head for the rest of the day…
I only mention it because I feel like I could replace “song” with “cleaning” and that would sum up the situation here at Casa de Hall. Specifically, my upstairs office:
This is the cleaning that never ends. It just goes on and on, my friends.
I started cleaning it last month not knowing what it was. And I’ll continue cleaning it forever just because…this is the cleaning that never ends.
And it’s not like your everyday cleaning. Oh, no. It’s my writing life. A great big pile of my writing life. And you know how you like to think you’re a relatively spiritual person, not attached to things in this world? Yeah…when it comes to writing–your words and such–it’s not so easy. Suddenly, you’re a raving egotistical maniac!
Or maybe that’s just me. The point is, suddenly, I’m reading reams of stuff because it’s my stuff. These are my precious, precious words. And even though my brain is screaming, “Cathy! You don’t have time for this!” my eyes are scanning the lines. My stomach is lurching.
Because these may be my precious words but many of these words–TONS OF THESE WORDS–are not good. In point of fact, they’re rather bad. Eventually, I realize that this essay or that manuscript stinks and I give it a toss. But my hands are slow in doing what my brain (and stomach) knew the minute I scanned the first line.
It gives me a whole new perspective on agents and editors who blithely toss my precious words after reading the first line; they’re not invested. It’s easy to toss when you’re not invested.
And so I’ve had to detach in order to get any cleaning done. Asking, “How Important Is It?” has been helpful, too, which you’ll see when you read my post over at The Muffin. My poor little ego has been bruised and battered through this process, but I’m sorta making progress on the upstairs office.
Not a lot of progress, mind you. This is the cleaning that never ends. It just goes on and on, my friends.
(Sorry about the song. If it makes you feel any better, it’s stuck in my head, too.)
Enjoyed the post, Cathy!
Cathy–I read your post at the Muffin, and I even listened to that song for a bit. (That was a Lamb Chop video!)
Why is your ego bruised and battered? That was writing from the past. It gives you a window to the writer you USED to be. Reading your old stuff shows you how much you’ve grown as a writer.
Well, I certainly have grown, Sioux. I suppose I just didn’t realize how much growing I needed! 🙂
I sped over to read your post, which made me feel welcome. Your words are relateable. Sometimes I shake my head at my older ramblings.
Oh, boy. Is that ever the truth! I do the same thing. I still have stuff I wrote in high school! I have a historical romance I wrote when I was 19 or 20 that needs to be destroyed before I die so no one can read it. And now I must head over to the Muffin for further inspiration. 🙂