Simple tidiness is more than its own reward

Definitely cluttered, but the rare expanse of white across my table desk is very satisfying

I’ve never been the tidiest person, so on the occasion (rare) when I do tidy the place up, and when I sit back and look at the space that’s emerged from a jumble of accumulated stacks of papers, I have to laugh at myself admiring the neatness!

That huge expanse of white, upon which my laptop sits waiting, is a joy to behold, in my cocooned nest of a writing space. Here is where the words come out; when I de-focus my eyes and let the flow commence through my fingertips, where I seem to enter a sacred zone. It’s special, at any rate, and when an hour or so later I close the cover again, I emerge back into daily reality. The cat stretches herself on her cosy mat in the middle of the LEGO studio, on the green studded lawn among all the pieces of the MOC (My Own Creation) I made earlier of the entire smallholding up here, and miaows for lunch.

Until then, I’ve been trying to live my characters’ lives, seeing the world as they would experience it, following the narrative that leads, inevitably, to the end of the novel. Alternatively, I’ve been narrating a personal experience, or tapping into feelings to try to express them. Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, musings, memoirs — this is the space where the writer that is me, lives a fulfilling life.

It is a lonely life, of course, this writer’s odyssey, but whether it’s in a neat or tidy space, once I’m in the zone, it scarcely matters. The main thing, when it’s tidy, is that it’s a space I love to inhabit, so my excuses for not settling down become muted and I move into it with anticipation, rather than dread.

And I find things! Things that have been lost for weeks, months. They were there, all along, hidden in the piles of stuff! Well well well. It may be embarrassing, in all its cluttered glory, but it’s a wonderful, warm space, and if it works, in the moment at least, then I’m happy.

I was just about to snap a photo of my writing space, early this morning long before sunrise, when the power flicked off for a moment. We can cope, but the power outages of this winter up and down the region have been devastating for so many folks. Suddenly, my lovely space was plunged into darkness.

The cocoon too is fragile, like creativity. While it’s there, best to enjoy.

2 responses to “Simple tidiness is more than its own reward”

  1. Larry, I can identify. As a person with ADHD I can corroborate one observation about clutter vs.order. A common trait (not symptom) I posess is that while it’s difficult for me to maintain organization I find it comforting when I find it. Paper has always been the bane of my student & professional life. Enjoy the warmth of your cocoon for as long as it may remain unbroken. To this reader it is obvious that it is working for you.


  2. Thanks Henry . . . great to hear a kindred soul! Hoping to experience a bit of real winter outside tomorrow, but happy to be warm and comfy today too. I had a little surprise on my daily novel writing task yesterday: the characters got together and carved out a scenario on their own! Most intriguing, but I may regain control again as I embark on Ch 8 (of 10 chapters anticipated). Take care.


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