Monday, January 7, 2013

Cleaning Day

My sister-in-law is a fast moving, busy woman.  When it comes to her home she tears through it in a whirlwind of work, doing one of her many projects, throwing things here or there and never cleaning until she blows through in a whirlwind of picking up.  I, however, clean while I go.  This causes The Engineer much distress as I have a tendency to clean up the tools he's still using. 

I can't help it, it's habit. 

Now, this is not to say my house is perfectly clean.  I have clutter spots where I dump stuff I don't want to deal with.  Also I have two kids.  This may be one reason I've adopted this style of cleaning.  There's no possibility of a large block of cleaning time so I clean here and there while I go.

I'm like that in my writing too. While I have participated in, and won, NaNo, in general I tend to revise as I go.  Again, this is not to say my first drafts are perfect.  There are things I don't want to deal with and I put it off until later drafts.  I'm a chunky pants writer.  I don't write linearly, and I don't plot, so I find I do a bit of editing as I put all the parts together.

This works for me.  It fits my style and it keeps the thoughts flowing, though I'm sure there are as many ways of doing it as there are writers.  How about you?  Do you tend to tear through a first draft leaving all the clean up until later, or do you try to tidy while you go?

46 comments:

  1. Ha, I never thought of it, but I think my cleaning style and my revising style are similar... ha!

    Once my house looks a little too lived-in, I usually try to clean the whole thing, or at least an entire room. In writing, I write my whole, awful manuscript, wait for lots of people to see how messy it is, then clean it up in big chunks. :)

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    1. wait for lots of people to see how messy it is,
      LOL


      I hadn't connected how similar they were either. Yesterday was cleaning day but I was thinking about writing because that's what I would have preferred to do and it all kind of clicked.

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  2. My hubby and I both have small areas of clutter...and woe be to anyone who touches them! ; ) Not surprisingly, mine is around the computer and my writing desk. He knows that's that's off limits.

    I do have a very rough idea of where a story will go, but I'm more than glad to let it change courses if the words keep coming. Then I write where ever my mind wants to take me.

    Happy writing, Sara!

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    1. You've got to have clutter areas, it makes it easier to keep the rest of the house clean.

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  3. I plot, then tear through the first draft, and then revise, revise, revise... It's fun to see how other writers approach their craft. Thanks, Sara!

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    1. It is fun, and it gives me different ideas so as I approach different manuscripts that need different ways of handling things I have a lot of ideas to try.

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  4. "I'm a chunky pants writer" LOL!

    I feel like you and I were cut from the same cloth when it comes to writing strategies, house cleaning strategies too! (:

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    1. Chunky pants could also be used to describe my actual pants but I'd much rather use it for writing.

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  5. I tend to clean as I go, which makes me a slower writer, but it also means the final draft is pretty polished and ready to send out to beta readers. All told, I probably take the same amount of time to finish a manuscript as someone who does a fast first draft and then edits the crap out of it. [g]

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    1. Very true, it takes as long as it takes even if writers go about it different ways.

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  6. I think if I tried to edit as I went along I would never finish :D

    I write the best that I can, but I also know that I'm going to go through and give it a good cleaning once it's just finished.

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    1. I do many cleanings after the first drafting/editing pass. It's actually very comforting to know that, even though I'm tweaking it, I can fix it more later.

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  7. I started my first draft trying to be a pantser - horrible mistake. I'm just not. And my revision is going really slow because I have sections, written in different colors, that say something like "Write something great here."

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    1. You gotta do what's best for you. No matter what anyone else says.

      Isn't it funny how we have to specify "great" as if otherwise we'd write something horrible, just because it wasn't specified.

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  8. Hello, I love that term... A chunky pants writer. If it wasn't for NaNo, I'd still be plodding through my first draft if my first novel... But I have now drafted 4 yay! Someday edited some in need of work

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    1. Congrats on 4! It's wonderful to have those things that help motivate us.

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  9. I'm the opposite. I tend to write, and clean, in blocks. Either making a big mess or trying to do a big clean-up job! When drafting, I barely read through the previous day's stuff, as I worry I'll end up changing stuff and I only have limited times to write. It can cause problems later, though. I should probably find a middle ground!

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    1. Middle grounds are good, but if it works, then it works. And I hear you on the limited time. Sometimes you just have to do whatever you can to get the words down.

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  10. I tidy up as I go for gross misspellings and grammar issues. Now for heavy duty Spring cleaning (otherwise known as editing).

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    1. Ha! I generally leave the misspellings and grammar for later edits. If they're really bad I might change them, otherwise I don't worry.

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  11. I leave it alone till i'm completely done or i will find myself changing too much.

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    1. Do you start with a plot? That's the nice thing about not having a pre-done plot. You can't change what doesn't exit.

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  12. I try not to change too much as I draft because then I lose the writing flow, but there are some things that are too glaringly ugly not to tidy up right away.

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    1. There are times when the muse is whispering and I just have to get it all out. But I'll come back next day to tidy instead of continuing drafting.

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  13. Even though I pick stuff up every day, I've excepted the fact that my place will never be "spic and span" until the kidlets are older or out of the house. Yeah. I might be retired by then, meaning I'll be "too tired" to clean house. :)

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    1. I'm already too tired to clean house.

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  14. I tidy while I go, but I take it to an extreme that makes it VERY bad for my writing! I get so caught up in tidying I can't move forward!

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    1. We all need to find our happy medium somewhere.

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  15. Interesting! My mom cleans while she goes to the extent that she'll put away something like a jar of olives even while you're still at the table eating it. I'm not that bad... I do declutter as I go, except that our library is such a junk room that the clutter just piles up in there - mostly paper - and I haven't made time to file and sort it in months. I need an intern!
    I really can't edit on a first draft, though. I've got to pour the story out. And then go back and tweak... Slowly, slowly, getting better at editing on the computer instead of on paper.

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    1. Glad you're making progress on editing on the computer, it will save you time in the long run.

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  16. I'm a tidy as I go writer too. Probably why completing a first draft has taken me over a year, but for now, it's working for me.

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    1. If it works for you then it's what you should do!

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  17. I had to laugh about you cleaning up your husband's "mess" before he's done with it. Used to be, my hubby would toss clothes on the bedroom floor when he took them off; now he knows better. Anything I find on the floor is fair game. Doesn't matter if he's planning to wear it again or not; if it's on the floor, it gets hauled to the laundry room.

    My writing is a mixture of plow straight ahead and stop to "perfect". Depends on how the juices are flowing.

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    1. It does depend on inspiration sometimes. If the thoughts are flowing you shouldn't stop and ruin the rhythm.

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  18. I try not to tidy as I go, but sometimes I can't help it. I rarely get a scene right on the first try, so tinkering with it before moving onto the next is a must!

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    1. I agree. I start writing it and not know where to go, or more time thinking about it will give me deeper insights into characters so I need to be able to go back and work on it before I can move on.

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  19. I find that I start tidying up as soon as I start reading in my editing job, but not so with my housework!

    Nas

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  20. I find I'm a mix of both; in writing and housework. It all depends on the day I'm having and the mood I'm in.

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  21. We're sisters! I do exactly the same thing. That way the untidiness doesn't overwhelm me. Excluding basement which is presently full of MIL and late-Mother's things. We call it the disaster area. But on the other stuff, yes--I tend to clean up my chapter as I go. It takes a lot of oomph to get me to the next chapter.

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    1. I always knew we were kindred spirits.:) I think having one disaster area is important for everyone.

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  22. My house, yes. My writing, no. I like to just get the first draft down, but I do spend a lot of time planning my novels first.

    I'm always putting things away before my hubby is finished with them. Or I just leave them for them to develop legs. lol

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    1. My hubby is getting used to me putting things away. He watches for my sweeping passes and pulls the thing he still needs out of my hands. He's a good patient man.

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