Then I must be working on LOST ANGEL.
Friends, don’t try this at home. Don’t, for the sake of your precious sanity, put yourself on a grueling schedule of re-editing your 9 book backlist while finishing up a new manuscript and then actually try to adhere to that schedule.
I am not the most organized of people. The perfectionistic gene passed me right by. Obsessive? Not particularly. Forced to pinpoint my most dominant personality trait, I would categorize myself as inattentive to detail. This is not to be confused with ADD, as my attention deficit is entirely intentional.
In other words, I’m a proud and happy slob.
Since this is an author’s blog, let’s talk about how this personality trait impacts my writing. Not the process of writing, that’s a subject for another blog, but the nitty-gritty logistics.
Let’s start in my kitchen.
No, I don’t write in my kitchen, but my MO in my kitchen and my MO as a writer are remarkably similar. (When I painted, my MO was also eerily similar. As an aside within an aside, I used to compare my brush strokes to frosting a cake) I can only conclude from this that a person’s manner of working is a person’s manner of working. That personal style carries through no matter what one does.
Back to my kitchen–
Open up the cabinet housing my eclectic pot and pan collection and, on any given day, you might see the smallest and weakest amongst them situated on the bottom, middle, or even, accidentally, on top. The larger and heavier pots–particularly, the huge cast iron skillet I use for baking Irish Soda Bread–usually gravitate to the uppermost position, where they balance precariously in a sort of, oh, I dunno, an inverted pyramid formation, I guess. Since I tend to fling the lids like Frisbees, all sizes of pot toppers lie scattered about inside the same cabinet.
The same lack of functionality shows in my kitchen drawers. Occasionally, you might bump into a spoon in the correct compartment–believe me, pure happenstance.
On the counter top, I used to keep a spice and herb rack. A wedding gift from someone who doesn’t know me very well, the rack came alphabetically arranged. You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes. I got rid of the rack first, then chucked the individual glass bottles in favor of those little tin containers. They stand up better to non-alphabetical tossing.
Those plastic containers that store neatly inside one another like Russian nesting dolls? I don’t do that. Oh, I own plenty, I just don’t nest them. They’re everywhere, all as topless as sun bathers on the French Riviera.
Under the assumption that if I don’t notice the clutter, I won’t notice the orderliness, from time to time, my poor, long-suffering DH, who also cooks, tries to make sense out of the kitchen chaos by neatly organizing things. While I appreciate his helpfulness, the disorder soon returns. I like my slobby habits.
How does this translate into the logistics of writing . . .?
Well, overwhelmed by all the edits on my backlist and research work on the WIP, I finally asked DH for some PC help.
Last week, he cleaned up my desk top, which looked remarkably like my kitchen cabinets–clutter everywhere–by creating individual folders. He did the same for my mile-long list of “Favorite Places”. Everything is now alphabetized.
So far, so good. I’m not tossing stuff hither and yon on the desk top. I’m keeping similar files together. I’m stacking things in folders according to weight of importance. I’m maintaining alpha order.
Most importantly, I’m trying to like the orderliness.