On how you write and how you livePosted: March 14, 2013
I like my books like I like my home: tidy, not too cluttered, and functional.
Over the past two weeks, as my regular reader will know, I’ve been getting my house ready to sell. That has involved packing away an inordinate amount of things we don’t use every day: toys (not all of them—I’m not that mean); ornaments; some pictures. And there has been cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning. Oh, and weeding. Sweeping. Removing cobwebs.
Anyway, not to bore you with house stuff (“Too late,” she cried!), now that I’m living in this de‑cluttered house, it occurred to me that, while I like the space to move and how tidy it is, it does seem a little … sterile, without the detritus of life kicking around. Like living in an open home, which I guess I pretty much am till the house sells.
And then, because I’m a book-obsessed freak, it occurred to me that I like the prose in the books I read to be of a similar style to the environment I live in. Friendly but not overbearing. Decorative but not overly lush (or the writing equivalent of an episode of Hoarders). Functional but not Spartan. Working correctly. Always working correctly.
I’d like to imagine that’s how I write too, but I’ve learned that’s not the case. My original drafts are much messier. But that’s where editing comes in: it’s the dusting, vacuuming and weeding of the writing world.
The difference is that, to me at least, editing is fun! I will never EVER feel the same way about mopping.
This is Cassandra Page, signing off before I drive this metaphor any further into the ground… :p