The Prompter Room

For Saturday, February 13, 2016:


“Creative minds are rarely tidy.”

Unattributed Facebook meme

So that explains it – the condition of the house, I mean.  If you were to see what I’m looking at right now, you’d think I was a creative genius.  That’s definitely not true, but if the above meme is to be believed, maybe there is a little bit of the creative in me.

Of course, the meme could be taken literally: the creative minds themselves are rarely tidy.  That could be true – I know how my mind gets when characters or ideas start stumbling over each other because they’re coming so fast – but perhaps it also applies to our rooms or houses as well.  I’ve seen reports that say the same thing, along with photographs of ultra-messy studios and desks.

I also remember seeing statements like ‘Don’t touch the piles on my desk.  I’ll never find anything otherwise.’  That certainly resembles me (she says as she looks at the notebooks, folders and books and stacks of paper next to me on either side).  They may be overflowing, but I know just which piles I need to search in if I need to find something specific, so please don’t try to clean it or straighten it up!

But does this explain why I need to clean when I’m in between projects, or when I get stuck when writing?  I guess this is one reason I know I’m not a genius: I do have to clean on occasion.  Not only does it tidy up my surroundings – too much of a mess becomes chaotic to me – but it helps to declutter my brain.  The physical activity, however small or limited, helps.  If nothing else, it gets me out of this chair and moving.

Now that I’ve finished the second draft of my novel and I’m re-typing and gradually turning the manuscript into the third draft, I find myself looking up from the hard copy and the computer screen every once in a while and I’m starting to notice … well, all the little things that need attention.  I know the chaos stage is getting close and that I need to get a move on.

This also tells me, though, that I might be almost through with the more creative part of the novel.  If so, then most of what’s left is the mechanics – along with the usual minor tweaks and edits as I type – and that’s a good thing.  For the house, anyway.  And the book, too, of course!


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