I have been decluttering my house. Sort of. Well, trying to, anyway.
We are hoarders. He keeps the boxes of everything he ever bought. I keep broken things thinking I might fix them one day and things with strong memories. The kids can’t bear to part with any of their toys…
We have a lot of stuff and I’m totally sick of having a lot of stuff.
So I’m throwing it away. It’s a slow and painful process.
At the weekend, I tackled the fifteen plastic bags full of paper in our bed room. Yes, fifteen. I reduced it to a few plastic folders and a box. It’s a work of art. Seriously. And that’s what most of the paper was too. Artwork.
My daughter is a prolific artist. She has taken to stealing my notepads because she fills hers up so quickly. She writes stories and illustrates them, or pens letters to send to me and her brothers. The girl has talent. You think I’m mad with my 50,000 words in a month – she most definitely produces the five year old equivalent. She reads everything (I’ve hidden any left over manuscript sheets they used to use for scrap paper) and then puts her own twist on it.
She’s an amazing child, and her determination and the sheer size of the piles of artwork I had to
bin find an alternative home for was inspiring. She has such a huge imagination that she triggered something in mine and I sat down with my latest WIP for the first time in weeks.
To my utter shock, I pushed nearly 4000 words that night, driven by the newly forming storyline, a perfect male “hero” (he’s just a man really. A very human man. He’s a bit bumbling, with a hint of intensity and a hug that feels like it could swallow you whole in the most delicious way.) And a strong feminist protagonist who is living life her way. It feels like it’s coming together to create a neat little “novel”. I have that burst of excitement going on, the feeling that this might actually work and not be totally shit even though I know that all first drafts are shit.