I’ve been reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. In the book, each House (prominent, land-owning family) has a crest and the House words. For House Stark, the crest is a direwolf and the words are “Winter is Coming.” For me, for House Mosey, the crest would be a rat standing on a pile of stuff and the words would be “We Can Always Get Rid of It Later.”
My wife and I have embarked upon the project of prepping our basement for a remodel. Currently, our little home has three bedrooms and one bathroom. It has sufficed. But we’ve doubled the population of the house since we bought it, so we’re thinking that it would be good to double the bathrooms as well. The easiest place to accomplish this feat is in our unfinished basement.
The first step of the process is to clear out the stuff and see what he have to work with. Now, just so none of my readers think that my wife has contributed to the mess that now needs cleaned, she didn’t. My wife is a paradigm of organization. There are very few things that she keeps for sentimental reasons, all of which fit in one small box. No, the mess that we are now sorting through is mine.
I am a collector of things. I learned it at an early age from my father, who built a garage that was larger than our house. I have actual valid collections, like Lego sets and Dr Pepper knock-offs, and I have false collections, like piles of old wood that maybe someday I’ll be able to use in some project or other. I have always been a collector of things. My messy room growing up was a constant source of parental grief to my poor mother. In college, when I claimed half of my parents’ basement as my living space, I used to pile things in chairs. When company came over, I would throw blankets over the piles and call them “art”.
Since being married, I’ve come a long way. All of the habitable places in the house are very tidy, and thanks to our avoidance of leaving anything of value where either dog or child may destroy, sparse. But as tidy and sparse as the main rooms are, my piles have been building in the darkness of our basement.
In a way, the project to reclaim the basement from the disorganized mess that I’ve allowed it to become is a lot like the editing process of any book ever written. When writers write, we are encouraged not to edit until our work is complete. Only then, can we allow ourselves to step back and see what we have created, what needs to be fixed, and what needs to be cut altogether. And in writing, as in real life, the cutting process is difficult.
I am no fan of the editing process. But I look forward to the final, published draft.
Here’s to the project, the process, and the end product!
How is your personal editing going?