CLEAR THE CLUTTER!

CLEAR THE CLUTTER!

We’re almost through the year. (And by the way, where did it go? I’m going to look between the couch cushions.) Anyway, it’s always a good time to reflect on goals, clear the cobwebs or clutter in order to open the new year properly. Yes. Even for writers decluttering is a most excellent strategy.

In my case, I decided to start by simply purging all the stuff on my desktop. As you can see by the top image, I adore scratch pads. Little notes. URLs to important websites. A daily to-do list (which is hardly ever completed.) All of that material that makes me look terrifically busy is more a mark of confusion and terrible organization. That’s not good, not for getting another novel written and especially not for my fledgling business, Ever Onward Media.

But this is about writers, too. You know who you are. You have mountains of drafts. Notebooks. Scrawled notes on scratch paper that probably look a lot like my own. You feel busy. Feeling busy feels important—maybe even cutting edge. Woo-hoo! You can multitask. But don’t fall prey to that trickster, because it’s been clearly debunked by experts. Multitasking isn’t a badge of honor. It isn’t even remotely helpful. It serves only to distract. In fact, it can do even hurt your brain—literally. Don’t take my word for it. Have a look at this article in Forbes.

So start ditching. Toss stuff. Those old short stories or novels you began years ago? Either they’re good enough to move forward with, or they’re not. Get rid of them. Write something fresh. And if you can’t bring yourself to throw stuff away, at least organize your material into folders, either on your computer or if you must, literally in binders where you know you can find them later. And start the new year fresh.