Clutter is the enemy of good writing. If I'm sitting at my desk and there's a pile of anything, I worry-stone it. It cracks at my ability to set free and wild; to hear my characters explain I'm taking them down the wrong path, that in fact, this twist is their destiny; to write with clarity and depth.
And I'm over...stuff. These fleeting years require more experiencing, less owning. More traveling light. More easy in the mountains, to bastardize a Bob Shacochis title.
Here's what I've been shedding. (Readers and lovers of physical books may sigh)
- Books. I've been a lover and collector for my entire adult life. But the truth is, most of these books I will never read again. What stays? Only the ones that I would read again and again, that have shaped me or I expect will shape me as a writer, that bring me joy just knowing they're on my shelf. I've donated many, and sold a few to Powell's and sellyourbooks.com. Both places are great options to ensure the books keep circulating, and to support the buying of select new books.
- Clothes. I'm trying, trying, trying to get down to 30 staple items per season. (That doesn't count workout clothes, pajamas, or accessories. I KNOW. I'm working on it.) Trying, trying, trying to make sure that new purchases serve a specific purpose, fill a gap, rather than buying something because it's cute. I'm also planning a big trip later this spring and I'll be traveling with carry-on only. With room. It's happening.
- Miscellany. Random things taking up space in my small space. Extra curling irons. Old papers. Extra cords. Obscure kitchen gadgets.
- Costume jewelry. Bracelets and rings that don't match the me I've become. Single earrings. Anything in disrepair that I've never been willing to untangle, rewire, bend, or upcycle.
- Craft supplies I'll never use. Okay wait, let's not get crazy here. I hold tight to the dream of making things. I'm from Utah, after all, crafting is heritage.
What are you freeing yourself of?