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.