Sweeping away the cobwebs

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Sometimes in life it is necessary to sweep the cobwebs away. We get stuck in a rut, and it’s hard to break out. Lately I’ve been in just such a rut. I’ve been hobbling along with my writing. I’ll do well for a few days, and then I won’t write for a few days. It’s disheartening, and it’s a pattern I’m determined to break. So I’m going back to my goal of doing something writing related every day. It might mean actively writing or revising. It might be reading a book on craft or exploring an aspect of the creative process in some fashion. I am determined to get Spellfire’s Kiss finished and off to CPs and beta readers. That story is so close, and it means so much to me, and I’d like to share it with others.

I’m brushing away the cobwebs in many areas of my life. In my writing, I’m trying to establish a healthy routine that allows me to make steady progress. In my home, I’m undertaking a massive decluttering. This weekend I packed up five boxes of dishes and miscellaneous items from our kitchen and dining room. I’ve already decluttered the living room, with the exception of our DVD collection, which we plan on digitizing. Next I’ll move on to the upstairs, particularly our bedroom closet and our office, which are brimming with clutter.

What I’ve realized is this: I want to live a creative life, a life of creativity, love, and compassion. And to do that, I can’t make excuses. I have to create, daily, even as my energy waxes and wanes.

As I pare away the excess in my physical life, I hope to make mental and emotional space for creativity.

On the home front, I’ve done a ton of decluttering and painted a wall in the living room. Three walls down, one to go. I’ve hung some art in the living room and entryway and am working on decluttering room by room.

On the writing front, I’ve written a mere 121 words so far this week, in a novelette in the Faerie Forest series. The working title is Redcap in the Library, which kind of gives it away, I know. No progress yet this week on Spellfire’s Kiss, though I only have one more scene to write in Michael’s character arc and then I can start weaving that into the rest of the manuscript, after which I’ll dig into revisions.

As far as reading, I’m still reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron. I’ve thrown another book into the mix, Christine Danse’s Island of Icarus, a steampunk M/M romance. It’s turning out to be a sweet story that I’m enjoying so far. I also read Street Team Smarts by Sara Humphreys, which was more of a guide than a book, at 18 or so pages, but we’ll count that, too. And I finished reading The Joy of Less by Francine Jay this weekend, which I highly recommend. In keeping with my desire to move more slowly and thoughtfully this year, I’ve scaled back my reading goal to 30 books. I’m one book ahead of schedule, according to Goodreads.

And that’s where I’m at. Brushing away the cobwebs and paring away the excess to focus on what I love.

What about you? Have you ever taken on a massive decluttering? Did it free up mental space? How is your creative journey going?

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13 thoughts on “Sweeping away the cobwebs

  1. I think decluttering mindfully counts as an act of creation – at least, it always feels that way to me.I like that you’re counting anything writing related, because I know I have times when I need a tremendous amount of input, and it comes out eventually in huge surges, too.

    It sounds like you’re creating space and beauty in many ways. Hooray for you! =D

    • I totally agree; decluttering seems to be creative. You wouldn’t think, but it’s really about creating space for beauty and wonder in your life, and that makes it a powerful process. Thanks, Shan!

      • I wouldn’t have thought it before I started. But I’ve done so much of it these last years, and most of it on a very tight budget that makes it much more effective to repurpose the things we already own rather than acquire those fancy systems that look so clean and perfect.

        Honestly, I’ve found that visiting the colonial and early American spaces I’ve been visiting as part of my Hamiltonian passions and research has given me a wider perspective on tidiness, coziness, and clean spaces…and now I see the potential for a blogpost here!

        Thanks, Denise!!!!

      • You should definitely write that blog post. It’s amazing how much simpler our lives used to be. Modern life seems to “require” so much more stuff (or so we’re told!). It’s an act of rebellion, it seems, to live with less. I look forward to reading that post, Shan Jeniah!

  2. Sounds like massive progress to me! And I hear ya on the decluttering… My hubby and I are determined to declutter our house this year, but it’s a big project and I find it quite draining! Anyway, sounds like you’re off to a great start!

    • It can be overwhelming. There are two things that have helped me a lot in this area. The first is reading books about decluttering and simple living. They give me both the tools and the mindset I need to declutter. And the second is taking it one area at a time. Just focus on one closet–or one half of the closet, or the floor of the closet. Breaking decluttering into smaller sections makes it more approachable. Thanks, Tui, and good luck if you decide to make 2017 the year you kick clutter to the curb! I know I am! 🙂

  3. Decluttering definitely creates more space, on all levels … even rearranging does. We’ve just shifted desks and assorted furniture around in our workspace and the difference is palpable.
    And yep, I’ve had 14 word weeks too. I just roll with it these days. Life’s too short to try and reconstruct the past! 😀

    • Yes, rearranging can work wonders on a room. We recently moved two bookcases out of our living room and turned my former office/study into a library, and the living room feels amazing–so much more relaxing and open. You’re right!

      Some days/weeks the words just aren’t flying onto the page, and that’s okay. I’ve learned to accept periods of rest as necessary. Nature herself has these seasons, resting in the winter until she awakens in the spring and brings forth seeds and buds and flowers and greenery. Yes, the key is to just move forward!

  4. Decluttering can happen on so many levels, and one of those places has to be in our minds… I think that’s why things like Facebook and Twitter are so hard to break–we crave the constant stimulation they offer because we’ve lost the sense of how to create on our own.

    I know I was far more creative before I had all the “fact” of an education at my beck and call. A lot less accurate but definitely more creative! 😉 You are a brave woman, Denise.

    • I’ve found that decluttering my physical surroundings gives me more mental space as well. It’s definitely a psychological thing, and it’s freeing to have less stuff to manage and care for. Yes, we’re so used to having mental stimuli at the press of a button or tap of a screen–social media, TV, the Web. We now have to work to carve out space for quiet contemplation. It takes effort, but the results are worth it, especially if we are to live creative lives. Thanks, Eden!

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