Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Closet Cleaning


As it turns out, writing a book is a lot like cleaning out a closet - both of which I've been doing a lot of lately.

The thing is, to really clean the closet, you pretty much have to take everything out and see what you've got. This creates a much bigger mess than whatever you started out with, and the temptation is to just cram it all back in and close the door. This does not work.

No. You must go through everything in there and see what you've got. Then you must ruthlessly toss whatever isn't working with the other things in there - even if it's beautiful. Even if it cost you a lot. Even if you absolutely love it. If it doesn't go, it doesn't go.

If it doesn't fit, hasn't been used in at least six months or is simply out of style, never to come back,  it's got to be cut.


* Photo from http://images.marthastewart.com

5 comments:

kario said...

Ai yai yai! This is a difficult thing to do. Especially when you're writing. It is so hard to get rid of those perfectly crafted sentences, those stories that you recall so vividly, all the while knowing in your heart that they have no place in this particular book. I toast your courage, my friend.

Love.

Deb Shucka said...

Perfect analogy! Wishing you clarity and spaciousness with your newly cleaned ms.

Wanda said...

"If it hasn't been used for 6 months"...I give myself a year--or two.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

SUCH a great analogy. Love it!

Lola said...

so true...I need to go organize my sweaters.....