If you read my previous post, you know that my AOL email was hacked. The only word that comes to mind is devastating, but only because I’ve had my AOL email address for ten or twelve years. jessy31writer was who I was. It was my identity. When I went to writers’ conferences, attendees may not know my name but all I had to say was, “I’m jessy31writer” and they’d say, “Oh, yeah.”
Devastating! Sort of reminds me of when I learned we were moving to Oklahoma. I could hardly stand the thought of being so far away from our kids, I couldn’t stand the thought of lifting and moving furniture, traveling in two vehicles across a couple of states, searching for a place to live, waiting for the cable guy. If you’ve moved much, you know the drill. Using a new email address felt the same way.
Oklahoma–in spite of the wind, the drought, tornadoes, new TV stations, gangs, drive-by shootings, unfamiliar grocery stores and brands of food–has been great for my writing. I only know one person here, two if you count my husband, so all I have to do is cook, wash clothes and write.
I’m trying to treat the AOL hacking the same way. I’m trying to make it work for me. My new virtual mailbox is pretty bare. (Now that I think about it, our physical mailbox is bare too, but that’s another story.) Those 60 yahoo groups I belong to have been trimmed. So have the e-newsletters. For a few days, I fell into that what’s the point state of mind and unsubbed. I wasn’t reading them anyway… just collecting them.
Now that I’ve crawled out of that what’s the point state of mind, I can see that clutter, whether it’s on your computer, in your email or physically around you, destroys creativity. Clutter weighs you down. Clutter becomes a habit. We (or I) accept it, live with it, without realizing how destructive it can be.
Without the clutter of my Home Sweet Home in Louisiana (we left all furniture behind), I’m writing more. Maybe without the clutter of my AOL email, I’ll submit more.
Take a look at your writing life. If you aren’t writing and submitting, you might need new surroundings. I’m not suggesting you move away, but try leaving home for a few hours each day to write in a new place: the library, a cafe, bookstore or coffee shop. If you think you’ll do too much people watching, then don’t comb your hair or wear make-up. Believe me, you won’t look at anyone for fear they’ll look back at you.
I used to think I couldn’t write anywhere but in my own home. That’s a lie we tell ourselves to hang on to our creature comforts. Take it from me, you can write anywhere.
Are you writing? If not, why not? Frustration? Clutter? Have you fallen into that what’s the point frame of mind? That’s normal but don’t hang out there too long. There’s a reason you’re there; find it. Get rid of it. And write.