I have an idea for a book. It’s a memoir-how-to on decluttering my house. Years ago I wrote a 16 month newspaper series on moving unwanted and unnecessary things out of my house (I ended up removing over 5,000 pounds of stuff – yeah, I know, crazy.) To this day, people still ask me about that series and the number one question always is….
“Were you able to maintain a decluttered house?”
My stock answer to this is “Get real, we have 6 kids, no one could maintain that, but, to be fair, it’s not as cluttered as it used to be.”
Which is a bit of a half-truth, because our house is rapidly entering the pre-hoarding phase. Part of this is due to the kids (college storage, sports, clothes), part is because I work (and work) and the last thing I want to do at night when I finally shut down my computer is go clean the bathrooms or sort through my closet or put away things that I didn’t put there in the first place.
But, after spending the past weekend clearing out the belongings of a deceased relative, I’ve realized that I don’t ever want people to go through my stuff and laugh at me because I have things like framed chicken feathers from Jan Brett’s prized Polish chickens or a pile of rocks from a favorite family vacation or clothes from college (I kid you not) simply because they make me remember a fun time of my life.
Making people change is the most complex learning challenge there is. You have to prove to them that the pain in continuing their old behavior is less than the pain of learning and practicing new behavior. You have to give them a beneficial reason to change.
When we loaded bag, after bag, of items destined for the Goodwill, I finally got that change message loud and clear.
I need to get rid of our extra stuff immediately. It is literally weighing us down. Extra weight = discomfort. I finally get it.
I missed the Scrivener workshop (darn it) and it’s a shame because I really, *really* want to use Scrivener for this new idea. A non-fiction book just screams for that kind of organization.
So, if the mountain won’t come to me, then I must go to the mountain. This week I purchased the “Scrivener for Dummies” book (the author of this book is who presented the workshop – again darn, darn!) and along with watching tutorials, I’m going to try to figure this beast out.
I am going to write my decluttering-memoir book using Scrivener. Just watch me.
And I’ll be reporting back to all on how using this tool to write a book goes.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.