September 5, 2012

IWSG - just like Christmas

i just realized today that it's iwsg day again for October. this post was my iwsg for September, but it's still relevant. :) i won't even apologize for not having a new post up. i haven't had internet for a few weeks and have hardly missed it.
we're finally in our new home, and if i could find the camera, i'd take a picture of the boxes. the boxes on the main floor came directly from the rental house and are filled with the essentials. the boxes in the garage came from the basement of the rental house, so they're filled with things we need, but can wait on.
and then there are the boxes in the basement that came from the storage facility--the storage facility we rented for a year. those are the boxes that get the comments. 
we've heard things like:
-- "we had things in storage for a year and realized we got along without them, so we gave them away." (sorry. not happening. we already weeded out the stuff we didn't want when we moved.)
--"it took us a few years to get all of our stuff unpacked." (i certainly hope not. some of it went into storage in Arizona a year and a half ago and i'm ready to get it put away.)
"it will be just like Christmas." (if i had a dollar for everytime i heard this, i'd be rich.)
this morning (Monday), as i contemplated the boxes again, and wondered how we'd collected so much stuff, and felt slightly panicked about how to get it all done, i realized Christmas is a bad analogy.

for me, Christmas implies excitement. as much as i want to get to my stuff, i'm not excited anymore. i'm glad to get it back after all this time, but this is more like after Christmas, when you have to put away the tree, throw away the wrapping paper, and then decide where to put your gifts.
times a thousand.
after you already made a million decisions about where to put things like the canned soup, extra toilet paper, the pillow cases, and the telephone.

as glad as i am to be here, i just want it to be over.
and what does that have to do with writing?
how many people, when hearing that you're writing a book, say, "how exciting! i could never do that."? or "i've always wanted to write a book."? or "i can hardly wait to read it."?
and while you politely smile and nod, you want to say, "you have no idea. this is not exciting. this is hard work. you should be glad you don't want to write a book. and don't start. writing can drive you crazy. i have people living in my head, all with their own stories. besides, you wouldn't want to read it. it won't be that good."
and then you get back to writing, because just like i have to eventually get to those boxes so they don't drive me crazy, writers have to write. you keep going so it doesn't drive you crazy. you get it out of your head and onto paper.
and just like i'll have to rearrange my stuff a few times before i get it exactly where it belongs, you'll have to edit. and edit some more. and maybe get it wrong a few times. and cut a few things. and add some in. but you'll keep at it until it's just the way you want it, because that's what we do as writers. 
so while i unpack my boxes, get out there and write. maybe i will too, when i'm sick of making another decision about where to put another thing from a box i just packed the other day.

or go read more posts from other insecure writers. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great analogy! Laughed out loud at the Christmas comment.
I really hope it comes together for you soon. I'm sure the move seems eternal now.

Yolanda Renée said...

Don't envy you the job of unpacking, but you're right -- it's write, and write and rewrite.
When I decorate I'll move one nick-knack a dozen times just to get the right spot. Just like I'll rewrite the same scene -- just to get it ... right!

Have fun, and as each room comes together, I hear a huge sigh of relief and see a big smile of satisfaction.

LynnRush said...

Write on! Great post, Michelle!!!

Isis Rushdan said...

Moving can be such a bear. I just went through one earlier in the year. With a new floor plan and different closets it always takes me time to figure out where to put stuff.

Love the Christmas comment.

Linda King said...

Great post! Good luck with the boxes and the writing!

Drea said...

Loved this post :) We moved in February under less pleasant circumstances, so I identify with the chaos. I write like I move too... as orderly as possible, and then somehow when trudging through unpacking, I find that I wasn't quite as organized and logical as I thought. I never seem to have enough boxes, and I always seem to have more story than anticipated. It makes for so much work in the revising/putting things away stage, and I fluctuate between a love of puzzles and supreme frustration.

Annalisa Crawford said...

At least you've moved in, and you can take time (but not too much) to figure out where everything will go. It's a novel, not a short story! :-)

We packed up boxes for 9 months storage - we thought we'd been ruthless - when we opened them up again we realised we'd packed at least 2 free local newspapers !?!

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, man, I have a garage full of boxes from our move of almost a year ago and no place to put any of it. There are things I -need-, but I have no idea where they are and no place to sort to. It kind of sucks.

Jackee said...

People are funny when they try to relate. They say odd things. But I'm glad you are getting moved in! It's a process... just like writing. :o)

Best of luck, friend! <3

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Karen from Celery Tree sent me here. Glad she did. You write funny. I like funny. I'll be back

~Jennifer~ said...

Heya! I'm a brand new follower from the IWSG, and I loved your post. I thought it was really clever to use what's going on right now in your life and tie it in with writing.

I have so much bouncing around in my head at all times, it's exhausting! Not many people can understand that unless they're experiencing the same thing, but I get it, I really do.

Right now, I'm writing a memoir about what it was like to have two of the most important people in my life battle brain cancer right after the other--my maternal grandfather and my mother. It is so hard to write, especially because I really need to work on my discipline. I need to do it everyday no matter what, and for me that's one of the most difficult parts. You're right...writing is hard.

Writing fiction scares me more than writing a memoir does, and honestly I would think it'd be the other way around. Fiction is what I plan to do next, and it seems so complicated. I think about everything that needs to be created and put together, and it seems so daunting.

Very nice to meet you! I tend to ramble on, so sorry, lol. >.<

Jai Joshi said...

Such a great analogy!

I think of writing much like this too, where I have to write it down on paper to get it out of my head. Then organising it is like cleaning and sorting it out in it's place so that it looks as pretty and uncluttered as possible.


Jai Joshi said...

Forgot to mention that I hope the unpacking is as swift as possible for you! I've moved twice in the last year so I know exactly how frustrating all those boxes and incredible amounts of stuff is.


D.V. Sheppard said...

Well put! I loved this post.

dolorah said...

unpacking and writing; great analogy. I've done all those things with boxes: loved what I found, dumped because lived without it (and sometimes regretted it later), got so tired I pushed the boxes away. I think I'm all unpacked (been over a year) and now I'm thinking about moving.

I'm giving boxes away so I don't have the temptation. That means I have to clean house . .

Getting the original story out is the hardest for me. Once its there, I don't mind reorganizing, revising, adding or deleting. But man, just opening a document and getting started can be rough sometimes.


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

We have our house for sale, so boy do I understand what you're saying. In fact, to make the house presentable, I packed a lot of stuff I'm now wishing I hadn't. We put the house on the market June 17th.

Happy unpacking, Michelle. It will get easier, I hope.

Donetta said...

welcome home

Margo Berendsen said...

Such a good analogy! right down to the rearranging and editing.

So glad to hear you are in your new house I know it's been a long process for you!

jaybird said...

Hi- I just popped in from the ISWG and I loved your post. And I hate to admit this but I still have stuff in boxes and I moved almost six years ago..

Julie Flanders said...

Hi Michelle. Just stopped in from IWSG as well and I'm so glad I did. Loved this post, it's a perfect analogy. Good luck with the unpacking and the writing both!

Tamara said...

The writing/unpacking thing is a great analogy. I feel exactly how you described when people ask what I do and then respond with the things you said.

I can't tell you how many people have asked to read my book. Of course, the few I've actually sent it to NEVER read it. Weird. Why even ask? But, I digress.

Good luck with all your unpacking!! We've moved a lot so I know exactly how it is. You just look around and say, "Damn! Where did we get ALL THIS STUFF?" haha.

Nice to meet you. I'm a new follower btw. :)

N. R. Williams said...

We are in the process of trying to get rid of a large storage facility and having only a small one for our Christmas stuff. I thought it was going to be easy until I saw how much stuff there really is. Now, my little living room, in my one bedroom apartment is decorated with boxes and that isn't even all of them. So, boy do I understand what you're talking about.