Thursday, August 9, 2012

Avoidance Technique

Thinking about Thursday
   So, you might remember my RWA post last week where I mentioned I was facing a major rewrite on my current manuscript. Everyone offered such encouragement, I'd love to be able to tell you I immediately strapped myself to the chair and pounded out the revisions until fire flew from my fingertips. (A little Devil Went Down To Georgia reference for you this morning.)

Unfortunately, I'm a terrible liar.

As much as I appreciated all the support, I did anything I could to avoid opening that particular file.

Including, cleaning out my closet.

You can probably discern from the picture above, this task had become long overdue. My husband and I finally agreed. Just do it.

It didn't take days and days like I expected. We didn't argue. In fact, I knew the process was going entirely too smooth.

Until, I stood on a step stool to put a marble chess board in the top of the closet and dropped it on my foot. Yes, it is black, blue and, most recently, a hint of green. Thank you for asking.

In my delirious state of pain, with my foot up and an ice pack that hurt worse than the throbbing, my brain started making an odd connection between editing and my closet.

Just stay with me here.

The before closet was functional, but not good.
Too much that didn't belong.
(Yes, that is a hockey stick. Why do you ask?)
It was also overflowing with backstory.
The flowers at the top there are my wedding bouquet...from 14 years ago. You don't even want to know what kind of "keepsakes" were in that box. Let's just say, I don't think I still need the confetti from my high school senior breakfast.

So, we had to unpack everything. Lay it all out and decide what truly mattered to the story. Or, what actually fit and belonged in the closet. This what the point I wanted to cry. And, it was before the chess board attacked me. Seeing it all out there was beyond overwhelming. There was no way we were ever going get this done. But, since our bed is actually underneath there some where, there was no way we couldn't get it done.
Talk about goal, motivation and conflict! 

The basic framework needed more. Not much, just tearing down some old fixtures and installing new shelves. Just like my premise needs some tweaking and more inner conflict. 

Finally, we ended up with this. 
Which makes me smile every time I open the door. I can see what I need. I know what's in there and, best of all, I can breathe.

So, yesterday. I opened my manuscript and got started.

What's a few revisions after an accomplishment like that?


Jerrie Alexander said...

I love this comparison. It's spot on.Deciding what to keep and what to toss is one of the most difficult steps...whether in the closet or the manuscript.

You can do it. In fact, you're half way there. :)

Jen FitzGerald said...

Go, Dawn, go!!!

I'm in the same boat--must sit down and read through my WIP, make tough decisions and get to work.

Jessica R. Patch said...

This was a fabulous post! Makes so much sense and while it makes me want to edit, it does not make me want to de-clutter my closet! :)

I do love an organized closet, though!

Brilliant, friend! Brilliant!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Now this makes me want to go clean out a closet or two! Come to think of it, I have an entire basement that looks like this.

Teri Anne Stanley said...

NOW I understand why I've been so willing, lately, to organize experiment notes from studies we did 6 years ago.

Huh. How powerful is that tiny little flash drive that lives in the pocket of my makes me do all kinds of maybe even going to the gym at lunch time today so I don't have to spend my lunch hour revising the MS from hell...