The "O" Word: An Obsession With Organization
I have a confession to make: I am obsessed with the "O" word. Not the one you are thinking of, although that is not a bad thing to think about sometimes, just not when you are trying to work. I am talking about Organization. That "O" word. I know I'm not the Only One Out there. (Lots of "O's" in that sentence... I must be channeling James Thurber's "The Wonderful O.")
No matter how hard I try to ignore it and tell myself that I really should be facing the blank page, a little devil with a dust mop and a bottle of 409 starts poking me in the face and says, "don't work on that manuscript or dummy, isn't it time to organize your flat files... or clean off the desk? How can you work with all that stuff just sitting there in random piles with stray cat hairs creating a fleece-like texture?"
Truthfully, the piles aren't random. They are specific. But who ever calls them "specific piles?"
The truth is that the whole flat file is full.
a) spending piles of money on framing
b) figuring out how to make perfect digital copies
c) deciding which pieces to part with
d) choosing what to donate to the Kerlan Collection
e) putting time and effort into this when I should be working on new books...
So the drawers are a good home for now.
This is all related to the eighteen plus years of me creating books. But there is also my past as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator...
I need to have a yard sale. An art yard sale. But that brings me back to the list I made above.
However I am currently looking down the barrel of a gun. It's a good gun, though. I am facing the upcoming conundrum of moving my studio and home office from the small bedroom and backyard shed of my city house to the almost 1000 square feet spacious, well-lit studio and office we built on the property of our island cottage. I even designed the new space to have an "art storage loft."
This should bring on feelings of joy and excitement, but for the moment, it's more like fear and dread. I just moved my father a little over two weeks ago. I also moved him one year ago. I organized all of his things.
It's been a time of "Multiple Organizations" and I'm not calling out for "more, more, more!"
Yet I know it will feel so good. "O" so good...when it's done and I'm settled.
Then I can get organized to start illustrating the first of three board books that I have under contract. And there are picture books to dummy up so that they can be sold. And a middle grade novel to get a second draft going... and hopefully a novel to polish if it finds a home... and journals to fill... and well, you know... Other Opportunities to pursue...
This is the life of this writer and illustrator. I'm not really complaining.
I feel privileged to be able to be so Obsessed and Organized, because if I wasn't, I'd be living a life way more Ordinary. And as James Thurber might have said, "that would feel a little Opeless."