They say writers have an easy life. How so? They work at home, or where they like, whenever the mood strikes them. It could involve writing in a journal on a bench in the park or in a seat on a train or airplane. It could be midnight or three am. They can stop at will and have a snack – or a beverage – and maybe do a round at the gym. But this is a myth perpetrated by those who do not know. There is something called writer’s block and an essential ingredient in the mix called – inspiration. If I want to pen something really good, I have to wait for the right moment. Fortunately, they are not few and in between.
When I am waiting and have some idle time on my hands, I think about cleaning up and doing a bit of organizing. I need to get from my printer to the door. Ha! Printouts abound on every surface of my designated office room, especially on the floor. From time to time, if I want to avoid looking like a hoarder, I have to get rid of old stuff. The thing is: I hate tossing my work. It is like disposing of your baby or brainchild. I do archive my writing, of course, so this is no excuse. I just like seeing my output all around like a soothing cocoon.
As painful as it may be, I have to move on. I have come a long way, and rereading my early material is not particularly helpful. In fact, it is a detriment. The only thing it provides is knowledge as to how far I have come. It is time to take matters in hand and get at the task. I am going to buy a home shredder like one of these (small and compact, but effective) and make mince meat (or mince paper as it may be) out of my old work.
Shredders are therapeutic in an odd way. You thoroughly destroy a document and it is a symbolic catharsis. It means something is over and done with and you are ready to start anew. You don’t have to crumple up each and every tidbit, which takes inordinate time with so much strewn about, but you can get loads of material in one plastic bag, ready for the trash.
Going through the motions helps me want to get back on track and generate more of this paper flow to replace what is now missing. After all, the paper is evidence of my status and standing as a writer. I like the proof of my productivity, but the mess is more than my friends can bear. I vow to get the shredder out more often so each time it is a faster task. Maybe I should keep it closer at hand. I suddenly feel like writing.