We are moving into a new place this week…and part of next week, too. How wonderful it is to gather up everything you own, shove it all into bags and boxes, and carry it to some new place where you unpack it all and begin to accumulate more!
Or not. I guess that depends on your perspective. As for me, it is wonderful, despite the serious lack of fun and the massive work involved.
One good thing about the move has been the opportunity to purge. If you haven’t seen something in two years, you might want to let it go. Reminds me of my in-process novel and the editing process all good writing must endure.
I’m 30 pages in, finished with chapter 8. Right before I stopped writing the book last week (to write a book review), I had reached the point where I need to introduce a major character, the one-armed retired cop who builds ships in bottles and loves sweet tea. Since I knew I’d be away from the novel for a bit, and that I still needed some research into this character, I decided to edit and rewrite what had been written. I’m glad I did…the writing is better, the plot is clearer, and more setups for future chapters are in place.
Some writers will rewrite all they did the previous day before they head back into filling new pages. Some will write new material every day, and edit when the book is finished. I’m closer to the former. I write a chapter or two, then go back and rewrite. Write…rewrite…repeat.
The same thing happens with moving into a new place. As you live your life (write the book), you gather material things (the words you put on the page). When it comes time to move your accumulation to a different place (the rewrite of what you’ve already written), you purge whatever no longer fits your life (the book). After you have purged from what is no longer (or never was) needed, your life is less cluttered, and you’re ready to move forward. And the same is true for a manuscript.
Move, purge, repeat. Eventually, I expect to be in THE place where I will never have to move again, because I’ll be in my dream home. And when that happens, much rejoicing will occur.
Write, rewrite, repeat. Eventually, I expect to be in THE place where I will never have to write this book again, because the book will be finished. And when that happens, much rejoicing will occur.
Now, both on the page and in my life, I’m moving forward. I’m also leaving much behind. One thing I’m leaving behind on this page is unsolicited advice for life and for writing: purge what you don’t need.
In life, that would be material things, habits, friends, facebook addictions (I’m not ready to purge that one yet), etc. Rid your writing and your life of anything that doesn’t enhance either in some way. Your life, and your writing, will be better for it.