Deb Joanne is Cleaning out the Clutter

This week’s theme is spring cleaning. Well, it’s definitely spring, but I’m not doing much cleaning.

Cleaning is about the last thing I ever want to do. The only time I really go at it with any sort of gusto is when I’m stuck in my writing and need some sort of mindless physical task to distract me (or when Mom’s coming over, but that’s more like a crazed necessity).  Luckily, the getting stuck thing doesn’t happen too often, although that means my house could almost always be cleaner.

Anyway, seeing as I’m not much of a domestic goddess, I don’t have any good cleaning tips for you all, other than buy a Dyson vacuum, especially if you have pets who shed*. So today I’m going to talk about the writer’s version of spring cleaning, something I’m in dire need of, as I approach my launch and things get really busy.

Because I’m not going to lie, I’ve got a lot of clutter upstairs. And I’m not talking old prom dresses and yearbooks. I’m talking all the stuff that goes along with being published, not to mention the regular stuff that goes along with, you know, being a human, like maintaining a body and a day job and a home (albeit a somewhat messy one). Now, I can’t quit my job and I still need food and water daily, so that boils the clutter I can get rid of down to book stuff. I can break this book stuff clutter down into two categories:

The worrying: There is a lot of stuff to worry about: Will my book ship on time? Will there be enough copies for the launch? Will anyone come to my launch? Will I fall down on my face at my launch? Will my launch be the only time anyone buys my books? Will people hate my book? Will the trades review my book**? Will the reviews, if I get them, be mean and horrible? Will there be a book 2? Will it suck? Will I ever write a good sentence again?

The stuff I need to do: Schedule and write blog posts—not just for here, but for the several different blogs that are hosting my impromptu blog tour, AND my own website and Facebook. Send out more review copies, which means packaging up stuff and making trips to the post office.  Finish compiling the guest list and send out launch party invites (off to the post office again). Buy signing pens and test them all out. Every last one. Order food. Order SWAG. Order other stuff I haven’t thought about yet. Figure out what I’m going to wear to my launch. Realize I have nothing to wear and go shopping for launch party outfit. Go back to the post office to send out finished books that I promised to bloggers and/or reviewers. Work out more because the stress eating means I no longer fit into the launch party outfit. Realize I forgot to invite that relative to the launch party. Back to the post office.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Sound a little manic? Yup, to me, too. And notice how none of that includes writing, that thing that got me here? Yeah, I did, too. I haven’t written in several weeks, and it’s kind of

concerning. So I definitely need to clean out some of the clutter. I can proactively plan ahead by getting lists and labels ready, so trips to the post office are minimized, and can delegate some launch party things to other people (are you paying attention, Mom?). And I need to stop worrying about things I can’t control (like reviews) and get back to what I love doing and what calms me and is my happy place. And that’s writing. Writing will be my virtual Dyson vacuum, clearing away the other stuff that makes my head cluttery and manic. And that sounds like the best kind of cleaning of all, although you probably still don’t want to eat off my floors.

Now you – what brain clutter could you use to get rid of?


*This blog post not sponsored by Dyson, they just make a damn fine product.

**Did you see my Kirkus review? It rocked-one less thing to worry about! And what a relief, because we all know Kirkus can be…er…tough.

13 Replies to “Deb Joanne is Cleaning out the Clutter”

  1. We have a Dyson, too. Man, that thing sucks. 😉

    Brain clutter? Gosh, I’m halfway afraid if I got rid of mine there wouldn’t be anything left in my head.

  2. I somehow didn’t imagine any of us getting down and dirty about actual “cleaning” this week–I know if I did, my post would be VERY short. 😉

    Ah, brain clutter! It never ends, does it? ESPECIALLY around launch time, as you are finding, Joanne. But it will all be worth it when SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE arrives in the world next month!

    1. That was my first instinct, Erika – to talk about cleaning. But then I realized I can’t speak with any authority on the subject. 😉
      Brain clutter is killer. I do hope it lets up eventually!

  3. What a great post, Joanne! My launch is coming up on Thursday, and that is exactly how I feel.
    My head is totally cluttery and manic.

    I’d also like to point out that even though it’s not part of your next book, your blog post is still writing. Good,funny writing.

    Thank you for putting all my launch/new book anxieties into such entertaining words. You made my day!

    1. Jocelyn! Thanks so much for commiserating and pointing out that blogging is still writing–you’re right, of course, I just forget sometimes, since it feels so different. Congrats on YOUR launch, which I sadly won’t be able to make, but I’m hoping you’ll be at the next tweetup so I can get you to sign my copy of HOW TO TEND A GRAVE. 😀

      1. Yes, blogging is definitely writing. And I’m sure you could use the ideas in this post about brain clutter somewhere in a book too.
        I do plan to be at the tweetup. See you then.

  4. Okay, your house is always clean (that’s the only way we see it, so can’t comment on that one)

    Launch, stop the worry, it will be great and lot’s and lot’s of people will be there (remember who your Mother is). Food, taken care off, invites well we do have to sit down and go through the list again. (how many Debs are joining us please fly in, I will feed you, is that convincing or what).

    Stop, chulishing over everything (that is a Yiddush word for worry) your book is great, it will sell, you won’t fall flat on your face, and you will get into the outfit you buy (might even have to be taken in if you keep up chulishing over everything).

    J we have all the confidence in the world in you, your book and your next 100 books so clean the clutter out and have a happy day, and if your hungry come for supper tonight.

    Deb Mom Marcia

    1. Aw, Mom, thanks so much for being my rock. I *KNOW* that if you have anything to do with it (and you do) my launch party will be awesome and LOTS of people will buy my books. I can’t wait until we have books to actually sell – is your purse big enough? 😉

  5. Writers have vivid imaginations. That’s why we are so good and picturing the million things that could go wrong. It makes for good writing, but high stress in real life. Kirkus loved you- and as we know- they don’t spread that love around.

    1. Good point – we are constantly imagining the worst things that can happen to OTHER PEOPLE and then writing them down. Seems silly to think we could turn it off when it comes to our own lives. 😀

Comments are closed.