Monday, February 17, 2014

Bare Necessities

I look at the pile of 'stuff' in my basement and dream of the day when I can start clearing it out. There are a number of boxes with stuff which will go to our church youth group for their yard sale to fund charitable activities. There are more boxes and furniture with things for when my son (possibly) gets his own apartment in a number of months. There are skis which the younger one has outgrown. Rockets that no one shoots off anymore, too many pieces of luggage, my Bowflex which I've kind of abandoned in favor of swimming at the Y, cabinets with my hurricane/emergency supplies, vases, cookware I use once a year, and a bookshelf of books, games, crafts, and puzzles.

I'm coming to the point in my life where I want to simplify; have fewer things to fuss over, enjoy a clear view.

It's the same in my writing. I'm not a fluffy, overly literary type. I find long explanations, a character's thoughts about every little thing, and detailed setting descriptions tedious. (Hence, I have no love for books like Great Expectations- get to the point.) It's hard for me to wax poetic as the cliche goes because I'm a lover of  action, dialogue, and progression. When another writer whose style is the opposite of mine critiques my work, it's hard for me add all the 'extras' they suggest, whether it's words or scenes or internal dialogue. And when I critique their work, I find myself cutting and trimming where it feels too dense to me.

When I critique, my pen immediately looks to red ink extra words like: that, of course, have, had, could, etc. When I clean the basement, I bag broken toys, clothes that don't fit, and things we don't use. In both cases, although it may be hard to let them go, once these things are gone, they won't be missed.

Whether it's in manuscripts or basements (or garages, attics, sheds, or closets) I don't want clutter anymore.

Is it time to de-clutter your life?