Friday, September 14, 2012

Junk in the Trunk

I have a rule:  If I've had it for more than a year without touching or needing it: toss it.

In life, stuff accumulates.  With children, stuff accumulates.  I've often found myself calling it junk, but in truth, most of it is not, by proper definition 'junky' (though to be honest I've accumulated enough of that as well).  I've tried to rewire my thinking and remind myself that it is stuff.

That being said, stuff, like junk, can accumulate quickly and leave a home feeling cluttered.  At moments like these, it helps to dejunk - get rid of the clutter.  Hence, the rule.  The key to the rule?  The one that makes it most effective - time.

The last few weeks I have been working on the novel I finished writing in May.  I haven't really touched it since than, and I'm realizing what a blessing that has been.  I'm approaching my project with fresh eyes and a clear perspective, and its much easier to recognize the 'junk', or the 'stuff' that I don't need.  The first night, I deleted 15, 000 words (don't worry, I have many a back up copy in case I change my mind - but I doubt I will).  My story suddenly feels less cluttered.

The key ingredient - time.  I shelved my project - I gave it space.

That isn't to say it was forgotten.  In fact, I've though quite extensively about it over the past four months, making notes, plotting possible revision ideas, talking with crit friends, reading books about the craft of writing.  And I've kept my writing muscle flexed by working on side projects - a couple of short stories I entered into contests, my NaNoWriMo plot for November.  All the while, my novel sizzled in the background.

Do you have junk in the trunk?  How do you know what to toss, and what to keep?

1 comment:

  1. Stepping away from your WIP for a while is one of the best things you can do. I do it often because when you are too close your WIP things can get messy and you get frustrated ;)

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