Thursday, June 12, 2008

Literary Clutter 911


Today is one of those times when I have decided that being an ardent reader is both a blessing and a curse. I have seven windows open in my browser. I have four (yes, 4) blogs started in four other windows each responding to something I READ yesterday. First there is the Buddhist couple who have never been more than 10 feel apart for the ten years they have been married. Then there is the story of the San Diego man who looked around his families home and decided to begin a “100 Thing Challenge” to limit himself to a mere 100 personal possessions. Of course there is a “running” story, a “Family Affair” writing and on and on and on…

I am in the progress of reading four books and three magazines simultaneously: one for fun, one for training, one for spiritual connections and one for well—pop culture? Isn’t this SUMMER, a time for balance and renewal?

In analyzing this phenomenon, I have come to some conclusions. Before Don died, I used to read voraciously – at least two to three books a week. After his death, my desire to read anything, but information that would me take hold of my grief, was gone. Reading actually became a chore for the first time in my life and I hated that about myself. However, during this time, I did begin to write and write and write. Writing became the creative outlet reading once owned.

Herein lies the problem. My passion for reading has returned, but I also still have a zeal for writing. So I look at this morass of clutter that is my laptop, with the realization that I MUST begin to think – B A L A N C E. I seem to have found this illusive concept in other aspects of my life. Balancing my roles as wife, mother, daughter, teacher, friend and taxi driver seem reasonably sane. I have even been able to balance my fitness and health goals, but this literary clutter is making me crazy. Isn’t this the most bizarre “problem” someone could have? I don’t know of any therapist specializing in eliminating literary clutter? Looks as if I will have to attempt this on my own.

Marsha’s 911 steps to eliminate literary clutter:
1. Set aside one hour in the morning to read/answer email, read other blogs and check online news (yes, I will most likely have to set a timer)
2. During this time I need to jot notes for future writing in my writer’s notebook.
3. Have no more than two books and one magazine on-going at one time. Recycle magazines as soon as I finish reading them, tearing out and filing any articles I’d like to keep.
4. Prioritize future reading so that when I finish one book, I know what to pick up next.
5. BE flexible with this plan, knowing that at some times I will lapse and that’s OK.
6. Set aside an additional hour in the day to write. I am not a professional writer. It is NOT my job. I have many other aspects of my life to tend to---so this is plenty of time.

Now, I am taking bets---who thinks this plan will last a day? A week? A month? Those of you who know me best---what’s your prediction? I will give you a clue---I wrote this piece yesterday, so what did I do last night? I rejuvenated my much ignored Facebook account, added flair and friends---geeezz……

3 comments:

Sari said...

Good plan, Marsha! I've also always been an avid reader and have multiple books started and waiting on me. I've also felt the need to write, more so since DH died, and so far my blog and posting at the YWBB is helping.

anniegirl1138 said...

Once again you inspire me and bring clarity to my thoughts!

I never thought about how writing has pushed reading aside. Never occurred to me, but you are right.

Also, love the plan. Think I must steal bits of it for myself.

Finally, can you send me the link on the Buddhist couple?

Great post!

Rosanne said...

With all of the remodeling projects going on in the Corey household right now, I am living in the midst of all kinds of clutter. My summer literary clutter has actually become a place of refuge for me as I surround myself with all the things I love to read...books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, e-articles, etc. However, when all of the hammering and sawing are done, I am going to have to dig myself out. Yikes!

Great post!