I know, I know, there are a lot of you neatnics out there. I am not among your ranks. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have everything in its place – that place is just usually in whatever stack or under whatever stack or pushed beside whatever stack of other things where I left it. There is a rhyme and a reason to my madness.
Reason 1. “I am not quite finished with this yet but I fully intend to get back to it after I quickly finish this other task. Thus I will place this item/paper/chapter/project here next to my bed/couch/desk/table so that I know exactly where it is when I am ready to get back to it.”
Reason 2. “I am finished with this item/paper/chapter/project but something about it still bugs me I just can’t yet figure out what it is I want to change to make it right. So I will leave it here on the other side of my desk/table so that I know exactly where it is when I figure out what I need to fix about it.”
Reason 3. “I need to work on this but can’t right now so I will place it here on the top of the stack of things here on the counter/bar/desk so that it is in plain view where I will constantly be reminded it still needs to be done.”
Reason 4. “I am tired of working on this and have no real desire to finish it yet am reluctant to throw it away or start over. I will place it here amongst the other other items in this category under the bed/desk/dresser/in the closet.”
Reason 5. There are many stacks under the bed, in the closet, on shelves and piled in various places that I placed there for a reason. They are in fact finished. They are simply things I am not proud of and for whatever reason I don’t have the feeling there is simply ‘some thing’ missing. These are the too numerous to count completed works that make me cringe when I read them.
So why do I say neat freaks make the world messier? Well, simply put, I like my mess. I like my way of doing things. It doesn’t make for the neatest shelves or desks or counter tops but it works for me. When I am forced to clean these places, it throws me off, it messes up my whole system and forces me to confront things I intentionally did not want to confront at this time. Particularly cleaning out old piles of previous – as in way, way previous, works. When I encounter them, I feel compelled to read them and this always takes me back to that time, to that writing level.
Mojo is a mysterious thing. It comes and it goes seemingly at its own discretion and the slightest alteration in thought processes can disperse it altogether. When I read old works, my thoughts return to then and just like that – there goes whatever mojo I had going on for my current work in progress. It can take days to get it back. So for me, those who are obsessed with things being neat – and thus requiring me to clean everything up – it makes my life a lot messier.