Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Washday

Doing some writer’s cleaning. I’ve finished a draft of a novel recently and today am clearing it off my computer and office walls. The “Chapter To-Do” lists that were on the wall by my chair are now in the file cabinet. I’ve also taken down, folded up, and filed the giant post-its on which I drew a map of the protagonist’s home turf and a time line of the main characters’ major life events. The big wipe-off two-months-at-a-glance wall calendar I use for double-checking the continuity of events has been wiped clean.

The bookmarks in my favorite places have been filed in their own folder and the URLs saved to a hard copy that’s now in the file cabinet. No more will I scroll down through The Snowplow page or Andy’s Geology blog or Hypothermia Treatment or half a dozen swim club home pages to get to The Storyteller’s Inkpot.

I write fiction. I can’t imagine the clean-up process nonfiction writers have to do.

Tuesday is, if I recall the litany correctly, ironing day. Ha.



  1. Marsha, I had a physical reaction thinking of you as you put away all the notes, heart and soul of your hard work. What next? With NF, I often work in sections, so the put away comes in spurts, until I need to dig it out again for a fact. In some ways it is easier to keep the structure in my head, as opposed to a novel where time and place are critical to keep track of.

  2. Wipe-off two-months at a glance. I love it. Where do I get it? What a great idea for timeline mania or should I say mismanagement?

  3. I love that post-project cleanup. For me it usually involves returning library books, sorting through notes, and trying to make some kind of files where I can find research notes when I need them during revision. Writing is messy work, isn't it?