I dedicated myself to getting rid of all my useless physical stuff earlier this year. I think now (though this could just be a symptom of general frustration) it’s time to take out the mental trash.
Desperate to come up with a blog post this week (because of course I waited until the last minute in the current state I’m in), I went through my idea bin and found almost all of it crap. Every stray idea I had to write down, yet didn’t feel compelled to elaborate on at the time, has less worth than a penny – that is, it took more resources to generate than it was worth. I took the time to write this crap down. Should I waste more time going through those ideas and deleting most of them? What’s the point?
I suppose writing the dumb ideas down in the first place helped me get them out of my system, so it saved my brain more energy than if I’d let them idle in my mental parking lot. Going through them now has also been enlightening, because I can tally up how many ideas I turned into something worthwhile and how many lingered unformed because they’re utter crap. I could work out a ratio of garbage to good ideas – and I don’t know what the point would be other than making myself feel better.
Going through my idea bin, chucking things out, feels as therapeutic as doing the same thing with physical junk. Maybe this is what the end of the year should be for. Why not? I spend way too much time feeling guilty over such compulsions, telling myself I’m dicking around, when maybe I have this compulsion for a reason. I suppose, for a week (no more), I’ll follow it and see where it goes. If I find my mind lighter after cleaning out my files, I’ll consider it time well spent – and then get on with more constructive things. Stupid brain.by
2 thoughts to “Taking Out the Trash”
Getting the junk out of my brain – and captured somewhere – is essential to my survival. Computer memory is now incredibly cheap. I can afford to have huge files of ‘potential blog posts’ or ‘potential story ideas’ or simply ‘stuff I’m thinking about’ out there.
What I can’t afford is to let very many of them take up residence in my brain at a time. They don’t play nice – all have primadonna egos – and all they do is keep pushing each other around for top spot, which they can’t keep.
So I’ve learned to separate thinking from evaluating: once it’s on a page, if it is compelling enough to finish, however badly – yup, there’s another of my weird blog posts. People come by and pat me on the head about them, sometimes one sparks an exchange, occasionally one goes viral (for me, that is 50-150 comments, including mine, on a post), and most often I find I go back to read my own post because I wrote it to clean something up.
Very occasionally – and it still startles me – someone finds a post of mine actually useful to them.
It’s all FINE, because the point of all this mad scrambling is to GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD.
Then I can focus intensely and insanely on ONE thing.
Last night it was getting Word to stop futzing about and make my pdf, a problem which required solution by Internet to find that I had to put ‘MS Word’ in the Page Setup, instead of ‘Page Attributes,’ which I have no idea how it got set to. In any case, the pdf got made in a jiffy, and this morning uploaded like a dream, with no errors, and looked like a BOOK on CreateSpace, and I’m over the moon.
Next it was the ‘problem with the roof,’ which has now gone off to the roofers.
And now I get to play the rest of the day with turning my ebook cover into a print cover, something I designed in when I made the original in JUNE, and which now gets to look like a ‘real’ book.
All that from clearing out the cobwebs. Not bad.
Hope you get as good results. Anyone over the age of twelve has too much stuff in their brain.
Tip: It’s easiest to keep it clean once you get it that way. And yes I’m ignoring all that other junk in the attic and basement of my brain. One at a time.
I’ve managed to cull mine down to enough ideas to fill blog posts until the end of the year. I’m hoping by then I’ll have come out of this dark winter funk.
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