May 21, 2013

for sale

Right now I'm trying to simplify.

When it comes to where and how I live, doing that means sorting through all of my belongings and having a garage sale. I started this a couple of weeks ago, but really only got serious about it over the weekend.

As I sit here and stare at the ever-growing piles of items I'm ready to part with, I'm struck by how much crap I have. It's no wonder I can't ever find what I'm looking for and that I never have room.

With that in mind, I'm being more fearless with what I plan to sell and ultimately give away. I've often kept items -- such as a large rubber bin full of old dolls and stuffed animals -- because I have some sentimental attachment to them. Or, I'm able to reason with myself, maybe I'll find some use for it in the future.

But when you come down to it, does having these items make me a better person? Do I need them? Would someone else be better off with them? 

Asking myself these questions has made the sorting process easier. Though, I admit, the little girl in me continues to hold onto a few of those stuffed animals, because I just loved them too much.

There's a lesson I can learn in this for editing.

I'm working on significant changes to Book No. 2. Some of those changes are basic grammar fixes. Others involve removing scenes and subbing new ones; changing characters; adding a new major plot element; changing the end.

It's tough, because the story I first wrote was quite lovely. There's nothing terribly wrong with it. But it also isn't as special as it could be.

So as I go through and make these changes, I'll keep asking myself: Does this make the story better? Do I need this part? Would some other story be better off with these words?

Parting with anything -- whether it's a stuffed animal or a scene in a story -- is never easy. But easy isn't always best.

I know I'm making both my living space and my story better by bravely deciding what stays and what goes. The only drawback: The kittens and I are living in total chaos for the next couple of weeks.

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