There’s going to be a contest on this blog starting tomorrow. I’m still sorting out the details and trying to figure out what I have to give away. Let’s just say there’s a LOT of books you’ll be able to win. This is why:
So this weekend, I auditioned to be a housewife. I keep telling people I’m an Aspiring Desperate Housewife. This is all part of my attempt to give my boyfriend extra incentive to propose. Now, I’m sort of joking here. Mainly I cleaned because we really freaking needed to. We’re going to be moving this summer (hopefully to a place with a POOL!!!!) and so we’re doing spring cleaning and getting rid of clutter. Our criteria is if we haven’t used it in at least a year (but usually more), it’s gone. We’re also trying to get rid of the "college" feel of our apartment and act like adults. This means we’re going to actually get a kitchen table and stop resorting to those pesky TV trays. So…this all led to me devastatingly reducing my two giant bookshelves into ONE giant bookshelves because something had to go to make room for the table. I was sad about this, but it’s a compromise I had to make. I did box up a lot of books I think my parents will like, but I have a ton I’m going to be giving away or donating to the library. Mostly I kept what was in my TBR pile (it’s two shelves long, I have a bad habit of buying books before I’m ready to read them. Sometimes I like to hug them and stare at them, knowing I *will* read them eventually. And I do eventually get to everything on my shelf, but I need to stop the habit of buying and hoarding just so I can stare longingly), I also kept any books that were signed, any full collections of authors I had (such as Sarah Dessen, Harry Potter, etc) and any books I use frequently for research, like if I think an author did flashbacks well and want to possibly flip back to see their technique. I also kept all my writing books. Sadly, this didn’t leave much space for anything else. As much as I want to keep them, I had to make a cut somewhere. So I’m parting with a lot of books I don’t want to see go, but I’m consoling myself in the hopes I’ll give them to someone else who will love and take care of them as much as I did.
It’s funny though because I feel like this decluttering of the apartment is sort of like killing my darlings in writing. I don’t want to cut this stuff out of my life. I like it! Some of it is nostalgic! But do I really need those dried flowers my sorority big sister gave to me when I got initiated? Nope. Do I need that Texas hold ’em poker chip set we’ve never even opened? Do I need ALL those purses and shoes or just the ones I actually wear? And isn’t that how most people go about editing? Does this sentence, as lovely as it is, really advance the plot? Is this scene conveying what I want to convey in the best way possible?
Since I’m an overwriter, a lot of my later revision passes are for CUTTING. I get a serious high from cutting. I look at every word, sentence, paragraph, scene and can usually remove at least 10k without losing any plot details (I do this before I send to my agent, it’s usually my last pass before I call it done until she has notes on it). I’m kind of using the same principle here. Getting rid of 10% (or more in this case) of clutter.
Anyway, I hope my audition for a housewife goes well. I’m in a bit of a race because my cousin is going to get engaged any day now too and we’re both eyeing a similar wedding date. I must win! And speaking of winning, check back tomorrow for the contest details.