To celebrate sending my revised manuscript to my agent, we decided to go on a picnic. It was a bit cold but the rugged landscape here is often very beautiful on a crisp, clear day. But how disappointing to find a discarded plastic bottle on the strand. There are very few things that I hate, but unnecessary littering is one of them. Don’t worry, we collected any litter we saw and put it in the recycling bins – but, as you can see, not everyone does this.
Take last summer, for instance; myself and my husband were collecting the debris left on the pier after tourist season; beer cans, crisp packets, drinks bottles, even nappies. We used the recycling and public bins to discard the rubbish – job well done, we thought. Well, not according to some busybody sat in a car watching, who stepped over a stray plastic carrier bag to come and share ‘a slight criticism.’ Apparently, we weren’t squashing the bottles enough. As you can imagine, I had a ‘slight criticism’ to say in return!
But seeing litter on our picnic got me thinking about how much we litter our lives unnecessarily in general. We cram too many things in and then feel bad if we have to cancel. We focus on the negative, rather than the positive. We stress about what we should be doing rather than celebrating our achievements. As a writer, I find this terribly distracting; it either stops you from sitting down and writing or it stems creativity.
I wish there was a bit fat recycle bin that we could chuck all that brain-litter into. But seeing as a brain-litter bin doesn’t exist, we have to figure a way to declutter our minds and get on with our writing projects. Here are a few things that help me:
- Automatic writing every morning – to make creativity flow and kickstart the brain.
- Owning a writing space – somewhere you can shut the door and call your own. No disturbances allowed.
- Writing first thing – then get all your admin out of the way later, leaving the next day clear.
These aren’t the most innovative ideas but they work.
How do you get rid of your brain-litter?