Tags: vancouver, writing, moleskine, simplify & edit , edit, edit!!
A month ago I had one of those odd fits of energy just perfect for Sorting Stuff Out, so I spent some early morning hours sorting through the piles of paper that had taken over a small corner of our home. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, I always seem to have one small pile of paper somewhere, pulpy wrinkled anarchists who invite their friends over, annoy the darling and scare the cats.
I managed to condense the pile, and fit it into one small 11 x 8.5 envelope box.
The bad news? The box is stuffed to the brim. Mostly with the odd bits of paper on which I tend to write story ideas, opening lines, random paragraphs, character descriptions, etc, etc. I've got 3x5 cards, post-it's, all sizes of pages ripped out of notebooks, napkins, receipts... you name it. I think I've even written things on the edges of newspapers.
The problem with keeping things in this way is that they aren't accessible, and as long as they aren't accessible they may as well not exist...
My sweetie doesn't know this yet, but the following will surely warm his neatnik heart: I am slowly but surely working my way through those bits of paper. At first I thought I ought to just keep everything, but the possibility that they'd propogate on their own stopped me from considering that seriously. So every few days I grab 4 or 5 pages from the pile, place them in my bag, and peruse them when a quiet moment comes available. It's slow going but worthwhile, with the bonus of being able to re-visit a frame of mind that probably didn't last more than a few minutes after I'd finished writing. In the instances when I find a good bit, it's like picking up the cadence of a forgotten song.
I'd love to think that every time I put pen to paper the results are magnificent. But I (mostly) live in reality, and there's a lot drivel. A LOT of it. My reaction to the icky badness has been to shake my head and laugh, snort in disgust or, in one case, probably alarmed an exchange student by growling. (Sorry about that! I swear we Vancouverites are a nice bunch, really!)
There are a few gems, or at least possibilities. These I've set aside, and will transcribe into the baby Moleskine my love gave me for Christmas. Copying the habits of people before me, I'm going to let this evolve into a cache of starting, middle and end points. I know my mind well, so why not stroll the pages of it whenever I'm in need of a spark?