Yes, writers can declutter!
Recently, I’ve been motivated to declutter the rooms where I move and live every day. The minimalist trend seems to fit well with the kind of literary life I want to lead; with more room to create, more time to read and less unnecessary “stuff” hanging over and inside my head for both.
If we take, take, take “stuff” in, and we never let things go, sooner or later we’ll find ourselves overwhelmed by material “things” that only cost money to maintain, headaches and worries. It seems, we tend to forget that all the “things” we own only mean something because they are attached to great memories. So, as long as you keep the memories alive, you’d have plenty of inspiration to go on.
The weight of “things” gets you down. It physically and mentally binds you. And if we are tied to things that only take time and space away from us, how much energy is going to be left within us to give life to the new, the innovative, and the unique?
I’ve come to realize our outside environment paints a pretty close picture of what’s actually within.
As writers we must make a very personal choice about the kind of picture we are painting (“story we are writing” seems way more accurate) and if in fact we have the brush (well, pen) in our hand or we are letting somebody else make the strokes (umm…write the words).
I want to see a serene and calming picture, a picture with open spaces to wander and even get a little lost. Space to imagine, to think and to grow.
How to declutter out?
Have a meaningful/ personal reason to declutter. It won’t work if you don’t care. Don’t do it to please anybody else but yourself. Do it to achieve a goal, to embrace a new path, to rediscover a true purpose.
Take it one “thing” at a time. For most of us, the idea of giving our stuff away is difficult. We identify with everything we own, and sometimes hold onto things as a way to preserve the idea of “us” or of what we have been able to accomplish. But we are not our things. And maybe, we need to shed some stuff away to meet ourselves again.
Keep what fulfils a purpose. Everything that is broken or stained goes. Everything that no longer fits or feels uncomfortable to wear goes. Everything that you have more than one of goes. Everything that no longer works with your decor, your taste, your style, goes.
Once our space is free of the extra stuff we don’t need, we can move on to the most difficult part, editing out the stuff we don’t need in our minds.
How to declutter in?
Keep an idea’s log to free your mind from the stress of having to remember everything or the pain of forgetting something important; experiences and memories that can inspire a piece of writing.
Let go of negative thoughts, they are nothing but seeds of self-destruction. Everything that brings no joy, hope, happiness, motivation, etc into your life or the life of another. Even if you don’t say negative things, the mere thought would eats away your soul and occupies your time.
Allot time for free experimentation. Instead of going to buy “new” things, work on creating and learning. Give your mind a chance to work on whatever it catches its fancy, without the pressures of perfectionism and the constraint of deadlines.
There are some great minimalist lifestyle blogs and videos on Youtube. They inspire me daily to keep simplifying my own life and define what it means to be a minimalist. So far, it’s about living a purposeful life, an authentic life, one in which no amount of clutter will hide me from myself. One in which I get to know myself, express myself and show what I’m capable of. On in which I’m able to find myself, and not hide myself; from myself and from the world.
Do you have a minimalism resource that is working to inspire decluttering in your life? Share it with me below!