One of my most common excuses for not doing writing is that I don’t have a decent place to write. Since September of last year, I have a home office, but it hasn’t felt like an inviting place: there have been boxes and recyclable bags left unpacked since the move, the bare walls make a horrible echo, and there’s been a spare monitor at my feet when I sit at my desk.
I’ve been tackling various parts of my home in the past few days, finally claiming these spaces instead of leaving projects unfinished. I alphabetised my DVD rack and pared down my collection to what fit on the shelves. I mounted a painting, a canvas, and a poster. I came into my home office and emptied boxes.
One of these boxes was filled with a stack of papers that I had basically packed that way, the mountain on top of the file cabinet. Tax documents for annual income, investment and loan statements, the instruction manual for my toaster oven. Luckily, I bought hanging folders and labels years ago, so I started sorting through the pile, making a new folder whenever it was necessary (FIVE just for writing!). In short order, the mountain had been ground down and sifted into separate containers, clearly identified, easy to find if need be.
I had started with a simple task, and let the momentum from that carry me until the office was nearly done! I did take a break to eat something—this the result of ONE cup of coffee—and instead of returning to the physical stuff, I updated my CV and came here. Still time well spent, imo.
These are all things that I could have done at any time during the past four months, though I expect my neighbours are grateful I don’t typically use the hammer after dark. It just seemed like so much, and the thought of even starting with one tiny thing felt impossible. I at least had to clear a space and take down a box and grab a marker… it becomes easy to make excuses, easier to maintain them, even in the face of guilt.
I gave myself the benefit of having started and completed other projects, like reorganising my DVDs. I also put on an energetic playlist and had caffeine singing in my veins. I may have a box, a pair of rollerblades, and some paper garbage to take care of; but that seems like nothing against the mountain of papers I’ve already conquered. I’ll get it done.