The video is of me playing whack-a-mole in Vegas. I think it’s a good metaphor for my decluttering issues.
Maybe it’s hitting my 30s that caused my new, intense focus on decluttering. Maybe it’s because after one pain in the butt move after another, followed by a few spectacular computer crashes here and there, followed by environmentalist guilt, concern, and at long last discovering where to recycle electronics, but I’ve finally started to put a powerful emphasis on keeping everything in my life in order and under carefully watched moderate consumption. Along with clearing out an excess of items of low practical value and discovering the wonders of digitzing sentiment, I’ve been discovering exactly how chaotic I was in teens and twenties.
My casual disorganization is especially biting me in the butt now. I’ve had a seventeen year writing career, more or less, and since I did not properly track my early publications on a spreadsheet, in a ledger, or anywhere else (there was a scrapbook but this became cumbersome) I’m having a tough time getting what I’ve published, a CV or sorts, organized and coherent for my website. I’ve been doing an overhaul offline like I do once a year, and I’m really kicking myself for not dutifully noting down every time something I write gets published. There’s even stuff I wrote last year for an online diy fashion magazine that I haven’t properly tracked. I accept that it will probably not be complete, and besides, does an editor really want to read every single book review I’ve ever written? Likely not. I’m not even sure who all reads mine outside of my editor.
Still, a writer’s website should at the very least have a list of what of his/her works are published. I’m just afraid mine won’t be too terribly thorough. I’m not even sure if you’re supposed to use full bibliography form, or if giving the article title and publisher is sufficient to verify through a library.
I’m pretty sure my fanfiction has been better archived than my other work.
My efforts to get my act together digitally as well as physically, however, did lead to a small miracle today. Last year, I inadvertently deleted my entire writing folder. I was ready to do something awful to myself over it, and my husband’s attempts to recover it for me were for naught. Today, as I clicked through some stray folders…they reappeared. Maybe I accidentally copied them to two different folders or something. Maybe I’m getting a little help from Someone Special – lately I’ve been much appreciating the way I have been magically recovering things. This is very hopeful, as the book on Divorce and Wicca I’ve been laboring at had a huge setback as a result of this, and it’s part of why I turned my attention to slooooowly working through the much more fun Urban Wicca. ((I write articles fast. I’m terrified of books, and thus I inch along.))
I can’t always count on miraculous recoveries, and I still have a knack for losing thumb drives, so I think I will be working out a new system of tracking this. I do have a series of lists and plans for 2010 on Google Documents, and I’m not overly worried at their determination to archive everything that ever existed. If you don’t want it documented for posterity, don’t put it online.
Even so, I’m much relieved to have a lot more to work with than I thought.