Cleaning House for Writers by Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “Cleaning House for Writers.” Enjoy!
What does it take to really clean house?
Is it a matter of decluttering, dusting, and rearranging for neatness and clear organization?
It’s likely one or a combination of these in your immediate environment of the material world where you spend the better part of your time.
There are other forms of housecleaning, however, that are at least equally important and that are the way to better writing outcomes.
Cleaning House in the Mind
Cleaning house in the mind to produce better work requires discipline, courage and resolve.
Cleaning house in the mind to clear the way for deeper insights, observation, and consideration of where individual thoughts and ideas fit into the bigger scheme of your writing goals requires discipline.
This type of cleaning is needed in order to tear oneself away from distractions, to devote the necessary time and focused intellectual energy toward arranging words on a page or screen for maximum clarity.
Lack of discipline leads to wasted time, scattered energy, and words left unwritten.
As entropy leads to disarray, disorder and inertia, discipline leads to stronger momentum, cohesiveness and accomplishment.
A Good, Strong Disinfectant: Courage
Like a good, strong disinfectant, courage is required for a proper cleaning and clearing of the mind’s detritus and debris, which include but are not limited to fear, self-doubt, and the dust and residue of limiting beliefs.
These may be left over from one’s upbringing, bad relationships, and negative experiences.
Exercising courage involves looking forward and abandoning the past to embrace the future, to enter the arena, and to take to the torrent of the flowing river of your creativity.
Exercising one’s courage involves risk-taking, departure from one’s comfort zone, and trusting oneself. Though the bracing pine scent of those disinfectants might make your eyes water at first, they also refresh and rejuvenate, preparing the way for fresh inspiration.
Cleaning House with Resolve
There’s even an actual cleaner, a spot-remover, named for it!
When life happens, when the most careful plans are derailed or delayed, it’s resolve that removes the unsightly mishaps to restore clear vision.
You don’t even have to think about it; you just go forward, because it’s a given that you won’t give up. It’s your sense of determination kicking in, supported by faith.
It may take some work, and you may be tired at the end of it, but doing the necessary spring cleaning of the mind and spirit will pave the way for a better future for yourself and your work.
It’s difficult, but rewarding, and you’ll be glad you did it. And when it’s done, don’t forget to treat yourself to something that brings you joy!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from Georgia, Nevada McPherson lived in uptown New Orleans for many years and now lives with her husband Bill and rescue Chihuahua, Mitzi in Milledgeville, GA where she is a professor of Humanities at Georgia Military College. Nevada received a BA in English/ Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. She’s written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, one short screenplay, a short play, short stories and two graphic novels, Uptowners and Piano Lessons. Queensgate, the sequel to Uptowners, is her third graphic novel. For more information, visit www.nevada-mcpherson.com.