Friday, November 11, 2011


I'm glad I'm not one of those writers who can't write if my environment is less than pristine.  I'd never have gotten any writing done.

I share the above musing because I just spent hours that I could've spent typing up handwritten pages or fleshing out ideas or doing something creative, instead, on cleaning up my living space.  I moved into a one-bedroom apartment from sharing a house in mid-October, and so you can imagine the shuffling-around that took.

The books, of course, were the first boxes I unpacked, just to make sure there was adequate space for all of them.  Then, I took a good, long look at the chaos of unpacked boxes remaining, and alphabetized the books.

So you know where my priorities lie, and, if you've been reading this blog, I'm sure that's no surprise to you.

I've never had what I'd call a clean space for writing.  The first computer I typed my amateur efforts on, way back in high school, shared space with piles of papers and infinite detritus.  Next was college, and, even if I had shared a dorm with the world's most obsessive neat freak, I wouldn't have been able to keep my side of the room clean.  I moved back home, then into an apartment with my husband.  It took us years to figure out how to deal with the neverending piles of paper involved with being adults (bills, receipts, important bits of paper that are only needed after they've been buried under piles of similarly important pieces of paper), and so there was a lot of clutter in the meantime.  If we do manage to keep up with the piles of paper, then the cats manage to scatter something all over the desk, or on the floor.

Right now, the apartment is as clean as it's ever been, and I would be content if it stayed this clean.  If it doesn't, though, it won't affect my productivity.  If it does, it's because I wanted to procrastinate, anyway.

How about you?  Do you need a certain environment to be able to concentrate on writing?  If you do need it clean, how do you find the time to neaten up, go about your day, AND get some writing done?


  1. Usually a little bit of clutter doesn't get in the way of my writing (or reading) productivity. But, there are sometimes where there's just a bit too much clutter for my liking and I must clean, organize, etc. before I can commence with my creative pursuits. I, too, use cleaning and organizing as a procrastination method.

  2. Heh. Without procrastination, I wouldn't get any cleaning done at all, I suspect.

  3. i admire people who can get stuff done when there's clutter around! i am, sadly, NOT one of these people. :( clutter drives me batty and its probably the #1 source of any and all fights between joe and me. he's fine with stuff laying around and i am definitely not, but then i don't want to be constantly picking up after him every second of the day either. we've worked out a system where if it starts to bother me TOO much i post-it note it & then he cleans it up. XD bc its that or i start throwing stuff out, lol.
    i've actually started to wonder if its not a problem though. i've started doing odd things like cleaning up the dead bodies in my fallout:new vegas game after i shoot them. there are lots of empty dumpsters around and i just pitch them right in. started off as a joke, but now its a habit and its hard to stop. XD
    anyway! back to the topic at hand! yeah, i can't work in a cluttered environment. wish i could, but nope.

  4. It must be an acquired taste. You either learn to live with it, or you take the time to clean up before you get down to anything.

    I threaten to throw out Josh's things every other month, I think. To get the apartment to the point where I posted self-satisfied blog entries, I filled a bin with things that had been sitting around since we moved in, and told Josh that, if they didn't find a home in the apartment, they had no place in the apartment and were getting donated or thrown out.

    His closet is still a mess, but it's his closet, and, because I never go in there, it's his problem.