I got swept up in the fervour of spring cleaning. (Pun intended.)
For a full week the most writing I did was jotting down the ideas that just had to get out. With the warmer days (and who-knows-what’s going on with my internet provider) I’m unable to use the internet after 6am. Or before midnight. That seriously cut into my sleeping time if I wish to use social media. (Yes, this includes my smartphone’s access.)
But that’s okay. I think. Though I couldn’t read the newest posts from the blogs I follow or immerge myself in twitter (and find out if I have any new followers who I can follow back) I did clean out my house properly for the first time in a year. I rearranged everything and even found a few handwritten notes that I never filed. These could become the basis of a novel or perhaps a series of short stories (like Saphira’s adventures).
I even found notes stuffed into my nightstand drawer…
I also found a lot of nonsense that I was able to throw away. Things that I couldn’t chuck before because I was clinging to it for some reason or another. All the books and magazines I have no more use for have found a new home in the local public library. At least there they won’t clutter my shelves, gather dust or distract me from my work.
Does this include social media? Maybe. While rearranging furniture, I realised that not taking part in the projects on Woes (the Afrikaans writing platform I use to connect with others who write in my mother tongue) I had more free time to write other things. Like the short stories that are due at the end of the month for other writing competitions.
I even had time to re-pot my orchids.
I realised by the end of the week that I was fine. I didn’t need to go online every day to manage my various social media platforms. Without the distractions it brings, I can concentrate on more creative pursuits. Like making a dress out of the Sunflower Fund bandanas for this year’s National Bandana Day on 12 October.
[National Bandana Day raises awareness of leukaemia and the necessity of bone marrow donors in South Africa. I buy bandanas every year to do my part. I’ve made dustcovers for my PC, tablecloths, blouses and various other things in the past decade out of these bandanas. This year I’m making a dress – the skirt is already done. Come National Bandana Day, I’ll proudly wear the newest addition to my bandana-collection.]
And while I wasn’t writing, a lot of the puzzles I’ve tried to figure out in my plots simply solved themselves. By not concentrating on how to solve the leap between conflict and denouement, my subconscious was able to figure out the awesome swordfight climax in one story and the dangerous rush to a crystal cave in another.
Sometimes keeping things simple – having less – brings more value to your writing and your life. I have several new plot ideas, two short stories and a spring fresh house to show for it. Now I just hope that the orchids survive…
Spring, wonderful spring.
How about you: can you survive without checking your social media networks every hour? Have you found notes about stories in weird places?