What do I do to get ready to write another book?
Yesterday, I cleaned the walk-in closet in my office, a Herculean task, since I am naturally untidy and have a tendency to hoard. The closet was not quite as bad as the Augean stables, but it was pretty damn close. This is a job to be undertaken only when I'm feeling physically fit, morally courageous, and critically acute. Physical fitness is required to wrestle the half ton of junk (magazines, book promotion materials, clipping files, projects I started and never finished) off the shelves and the floor; moral courage to confront the stuff I have accumulated since the last closet cleaning (what was I THINKING?); and critical acumen to choose between what goes and what stays.
Bill donated a 30-gallon garbage can to the cause, and I filled it. Twice. Mostly paper. How in the world can I possibly accumulate that much PAPER?
Today I tackle the bookcases.
Twelve Thirteen Fourteen, plus another 40 feet of shelf space along a wall. (I would include DO NOT BUY ANY MORE BOOKS in my list of New Year's resolutions, but it wouldn't help, since I've made that resolution for the last ten years and it never stopped me. Didn't even make me hesitate.)
Meanwhile, I am thinking about the next book on the to-be-written list, the fourth in the Beatrix Potter series. By the time I finish all this housekeeping, I will be very glad to go back to being a writer again.
The best time for planning a book is when you're doing the dishes.--Agatha Christie
I got the blues thinking about the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and wash the floor.--D. H. Lawrence
Those rituals of getting ready to write produce a kind of trance state.--John Barth