On Decluttering…

I’ll be honest. I LOVE editing. But the thought of it scares me crazy. I look at this novel that I’ve just written and there’s so much I need to tweak and change and jerk and delete and add and it’s all so very overwhelming.

Then I look at my life and I think, “This is ALL overwhelming!” So on days I couldn’t focus, I went through my emails and deleted and filtered and unsubscribed. I’m still filtering and deleting, but it’s been so amazing to have a mere fraction of the total emails in my inbox that I’m used to getting. And it made me realize how much time I spend sifting through emails. Now I can scan for something I want in the folder and then mass delete. All of a sudden I have all this extra time, it’s weird. It’s amazing how something as little as a few emails from Amazon a day becomes a huge time suck.

That was a success, so I moved to my computer. Applications and files all over my desktop. Gone and filed away into three pretty little folders. I don’t need to look at all that everyday.

Then, I had a few new ideas taking root. One is my maybe NaNo project. I want that ready to go by November 1 just in case, so I’ve been researching and trolling for names and taking notes in between editing sessions. (The only story-related things my brain will let me do at the same time I’m working on something else.) I also did research on another story that’s been patiently waiting for months. (And will be waiting further still, but thankfully the MC understands my reservations and continues to be super patient with me. ^^) The other ideas are still in the very early stages of production in bake mode so I’m just taking notes and names as they come. Everyone is happy and my brain is unmelted.

Now on to attacking my life. YAY!

So back to editing, Lol! I have all these notes on my desk telling me to take one chapter at a time, look for excessive filtering, looked for huge patches of unbroken dialogue because I like to talk, and some general consistency and fleshing out notes. I’m not really looking at them, but I can see the colors out of the corner of my eye and it helps somehow. Every time I run into a “she can see the lights up ahead” I freeze and ask myself if I need that filtering word because I know I have a note about it hanging over my head. Apparently I like to filter.

I also have my lovely stack of notes, organized by chapter, I think, by my keyboard for the changes I know I need to make.

Before all this decluttering, every day was a fight to sit down and get some work done. I wanted to. I just worried constantly about missing something, rushing it, failing miserably. I’m still worried about that, but now I feel better about some of those pesky little things so I feel better in general. They’re also out of the way and can’t distract me anymore so editing it is. Lol! I think sometimes we use things like that as excuses. The only thing to do is take care of them or ignore them. It’s funny because when I get started I’m fine and on a roll until I have to stop for work or sleep. But it’s amazing how much easier it is to relax and sit down for an editing session now. Maybe there’s something to this decluttering thing after all. ^^

14 Responses to On Decluttering…

  1. Editing takes a ton of concentration. I was zooming in on specific words in sentences in my last round of editing and you can't do that while being totally scatter-brained. My biggest problem is getting distracted by the Internet. So I kept shutting it off on my computer and I was shocked at how many times I scroll down to click on the browser icon in the course of a paragraph. And unsubscribing from emails are fun, actually.

  2. My problem is the internet too. It's too easy to click a button, the minute the mind starts wandering. So I've started to simply print the MS out and do all edits with pen and pencil first. It's slower and feels wierd (writing by hand!) and especially on the 1st run of edits, I have an amazing paper mish-mash, but I'm liking the method. Now, if the ink in my printer wouldn't run out so quickly ;)Good luck with those edits!

  3. I need to go through and clear out the approximately 600 emails in my in-boxes. The problem is that most of them are related to the freelance projects I'm working on, and I'm scared of deleting something I'll need later. But it is horribly time consuming to have to sort through all that list all the time. (P.S. I popped over here from AW's blog thread.)

  4. I clear my e-mails on a daily basis. Little by little. It's more manageable and safer that way, just in case there are some important e-mails in between. Well done with your progress! Every little bit counts!

  5. I definitely need to set aside specific editing time to get anything done. A large part of my day job involves proofreading, which sometimes makes it difficult to get into a good editing mindset, but I try to force myself.Let's not talk about my email inbox right now….

  6. I'm really bad about bouncing to the internet when I'm writing. Sometimes I have to because I need to do a quick google search on something, but most times I'm just slacking off. Grr. Lol!

  7. Thanks!I printed something out to edit once and I loved it! It was a surprisingly large amount of paper for a 60k story. It made me feel all official. ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to do that again. I also need to buy some paper and figure out how to refill my cartridges, which I'm also low on. Lol!

  8. Thank you! It really really does! I never would have believed it. I had no idea how many "BUY ME" emails I got a day until I started whisking them away. All that little stuff really adds up.

  9. Thanks for stopping by! ^_^600!! Eek! What really helped me was to start filtering out the emails I know I don't need to look at everyday, mostly advertisements, but also the email book club I'm a part of. I can get behind sometimes and it just adds to the clutter and then I don't want to read any of it. I hope you get your inbox streamlined!

  10. It does! Thank you! :)Yeah, I had to filter emails by address. It took more time, but I think it was worth it. I can keep the ad emails from Amazon separate from the marketplace, vine, and order confirmation emails. They have a surprisingly large amount of email addresses they send stuff from. Lol! I really appreciate that though.

  11. I've heard that it's harder to get in editing mode when you proofread by day. Extra kudos to you for making it work. ๐Ÿ™‚ We really do have to force ourselves sometimes. It's all worth it.

  12. Editing is my enemy only because I am a quite impatient woman and just want things done already! In fact, I'm so impatient that most of the short story submissions I send out are of the first, untouched draft. Not going to get away with that with an entire novel, I'm sure!

  13. I didn't know that! I like to think my first drafts are pretty good, but there are TONS of little errors from typing too fast. And there's the dialogue that needs truncating. I repeat myself a lot. Lol! I'm pretty impatient, too. I try to get through stuff as quick as I can without ruining anything.

Hi! ^_^