It’s that time of year again ….
Have you noticed how, when spring comes, the light changes? Quite apart from the daffodils, twittering birds, baby animals, flowering cherry trees, and so forth, suddenly there’s this greater light, this cleaner, brighter light, flooding your day.
Ah, yes. Cleaner and brighter. And shining right in my windows. Just what I needed. Because now all that winter dust that’s been easy to ignore for the last few months has become resplendent motes dancing in sunbeams. Every winter activity is reflected in disorder—no, let’s call it chaos—throughout the house.
Yep. Time for spring cleaning.
Now, please believe that I have vacuumed and dusted and tidied and otherwise cleaned house throughout the winter. But spring changes things. There’s this need to throw open curtains and windows, let the outside in, get fresh air … and clean. Spring cleaning isn’t like other cleaning. It’s inspirational, almost romantic. It’s kind of like the first day you put on a short-sleeved shirt after a winter of sweaters: it’s about freedom. Freedom from everything that’s piled up over the course of the dark months.
I’m getting twitchy, so I’m taking action. I’ve already completed my income tax. (Now there’s a symbolic cleaning job for you!) Someday soon I’ll clean my desk, which is, frankly, out of control. How much discipline does it really require to take ten used printer cartridges to the recycling bin at the office supply store? How hard could it be to throw away the piles of scrap paper covered in notes that were undoubtedly important at the time but now are simply illegible?
(I’ll let my husband wash the windows. There are limits.)
And then there’s the writing. I’m drowning at the moment, and beginning to think that my plan to release three books together (The Calder Creek Series) is misguided. Part of this is because every time I go into a book that I thought was finished, I have to re-finish it. To “clean” it. There’s always something else to tweak. It’s driving me nuts. It’s time to bring order into chaos.
So I’m working on a plan. A tidy, orderly, clean plan, which will allow me to do final revisions to the first two books (which are for all intents and purposes done), while bringing the first draft of the third book up to snuff. Step by orderly step. Calmly.
I like the feeling of getting on top of things, of keeping it all under control, in the same way that I like an up-to-date calendar and a monthly budget. This is probably also the reason that I’m pretty solidly in the planner camp when it comes to writing (as opposed to “pantsers”—writing “by the seat of your pants”). I love the free flow of inspiration, but I need the underlying structure or I get panicky. Spring is my time to get a new grip on that structure. Call the carpet cleaner, put the summer sheets on the bed, write, move the herb pots to their summer home on the deck, dispatch the dust to wherever dust goes. Write. Calmly. Cleanly.
I love spring.
March 19, 2015 at 5:33 pm
I agree about the spring light. It is gloriously revealing. How could I have let my kitchen floor get this bad? Then there’s all the
accumulation of papers in the old, tiny and useless roll top desk I’m giving to the Good Will – but I have to empty it out first!
Of course I have the best of intentions but this past week has been monopolized by on-going car repairs and car insurance and
B.C.A.A. payments. I think I’m finally done. Surely with new brakes, new coil springs on the front tires, a new battery and one new tire
there just can’t be anything left to repair?? I don’t know but tonight calls for a glass of wine for starters. I’ll think about the spring
light tomorrow. Today was overcast in any case.
March 20, 2015 at 8:19 am
Hi, Helena. Always good to know I’m not alone in this! I think the glass of wine is / will be a great reward. Getting through spring cleaning is similar to completing a manuscript: cause for much great celebration. Raining here today, yay! Forget spring cleaning. Run errands, start manuscript revisions … ahh!