My current excuse for not writing is spring cleaning. True–it was 28 degrees in Reno this morning and snow flurries are dusting the tomato plants that my husband has covered with plastic and green sheets. It hardly feels like spring.
Clearing out “stuff” is a symbolic ritual–a sort of beginning anew to which the season invites us. We’re invited to prune from our lives those things which impede our growth in all dimensions: mental, spiritual, physical and emotional. The unparalleled sense of freedom that comes with detachment opens the way to new growth.
Once I’ve un-cluttered my life in this way, I will turn to un-cluttering my writing–revising my second novel. If I remember correctly, in his book, “On Writing,” Stephen King recommends cutting your manuscript by 10% (it’s been a while since I read it) and I recently read an article with an even more stringent criterion of 30%. The bottom line: cut out extraneous words and scenes that don’t move the plot forward.
“Write tight!” (sic)