I can’t tell you why it seems I always choose to take on a big project when I’m right in the middle of another big project. For some reason, just as I’m getting this next book out, I’ve decided that the situation in my office has become intolerable.
I think I have little attention deficit disorder.
Or, I’m so weary of sitting at a computer for ten or twelve hours, I wanted to do something more physical.
Years ago, after we stopped home schooling, I moved my office to the former schoolroom/sunroom because I’d started my day in that room every morning for school, and thought it’d be a nice transition to have my office in the same place. In addition, since the desk was in the middle of everything, I’d not be tempted to work when my family was at home. With everyone at school/work during the day, I had a good bit of uninterrupted writing time.
I’m right on the main thoroughfare through the house, and though the kids are away at college, with my husband’s semi-retired state, he no longer goes to the office. Lots of back and forth. Because my desk is right next to the windows, the cats seem to think it’s a great place to hang out and supervise the birds. Most of the time, I feel as if I’m trying to work in a blender.
Again, I think I’m a little ADD. I did much of the rewriting of this book at Chick-fil-a. I’m not saying that’s bad. I get coffee refills, the staff and I have become great buds, and they don’t expect me to clean anything, but I should be able to work at my office desk without feeling I’m sailing against the wind.
To rearrange the office so I can get in a corner rather than a raceway, I have to move bookcases. That’s not unusual. Anytime, we rearrange, we have to move books, because we have volumes in every crevice of this house. My husband gave away fourteen boxes of books, when he left his former office, and I’ve carted box after box of my own books to the Goodwill, but the volumes here are still multiplying. I sometimes judge contests; so many books come free in the mail. I have the keep, give away, and intend to read soon stacks going.
Of course when I start plowing through all this stuff, I inevitably find something I forgot I own, and have to stop and peruse its contents like this children’s book by one of my favorite authors, CynthiaRylant. It also has lovely watercolor illustrations by Barry Moser:
Or this page of bird eggs which fell from the back of an old book:
I love this circa 1950’s nature guide by Golden Press:
How about this 1904 Story of the Bible Color plate?
In this current season of life, I’m looking to curate my life in such a way that I only keep items I really love around me. It’s easier to let go of those books which didn’t serve a role in my spiritual formation, ones I read that didn’t bring me special joy, books by authors which have not served as mentors to me in my own writing journey, or ones like those above that have illustrations which capture my imagination.
Finally, after days of chaos, my office is somewhat back in order, and I have books in the back of the car to giveaway. But, I’ve noticed that in my new corner, Lucy now lies beside me instead of behind me, which along with the cats feed bowls in the next room introduces movement in my peripheral vision. *sigh*
Moving to the corner may not have solved my distraction problem, but I do like the new arrangement. I can still see the birds at the feeder, I don’t feel as cold as I did next to the windows, and I’ve read that a change of location can positively affect creativity.
I guess we’ll see, but I’m studying the bird egg chart, because spring can’t be far off. Barry Moser’s illustrations have inspired me to try some new watercolor techniques. I discovered wild flowers in the nature guide that I’d actually like to plant this spring, and that color plate of David and Goliath is going up on a shelf to give me courage when I face my own Goliaths.
I’m finally getting to the point. If you’re making a move, you may not achieve your intended goal, but God may have something else entirely for you. Just be open and watch for Him at work.
Off to face the Goliath project of getting a book out in the next few months.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Ephesians 3:20 The Message).