Creativity Amongst the Chaos


My grandmother once told me she couldn’t focus on a project unless her house was spotless. At the time, I was baffled by this statement–absolutely dumbfounded.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I am a disaster. You know that person who is so disorganized, it’s painful? That’s me. That’s my husband. And our children, too. At one point in time, I easily blocked out the mess and disarray. Dishes in the sink? No worries. Laundry piling up in front of the washer? As long as there’s something clean to wear in the morning, who cares?

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not total slobs or anything. We’re just crazy, chaotic, busy, disorganized people. But I’ve noticed that I’m burning out more quickly than I used to. I’m always slightly stressed. We have more mismatched socks than pairs.  I never know if my favorite coffee mug is washed, and I feel guilty when we come home to a kitchen table covered in mail/library books/lunch boxes, and all my writing junk.

And I’m always tired. So, so tired.

I sat at the table this afternoon, trying to work up the energy to write. I love the story, love the characters, love the book, but I just couldn’t do it. The thought of being creative made my brain ache. Guys, this is a big deal. I love to write–adore it with my whole heart. And it’s my career. It’s important.

I looked up a dozen techniques to break writer’s block and burnout with little success, but it wasn’t until this evening that it finally hit me–our chaos is draining me. It’s killing my creativity, it’s making me edgy and grumpy, and I hate living like this.  

That’s why I decided this craziness must end. So I’m going to do a little experiment, starting with the kitchen/dining room area where I’ve been writing lately. This week, I’m going to go through those two rooms and organize everything.  Put away appliances we don’t use every day, ban the clutter, probably make or buy a few candles for the kitchen table, and plant some herbs in cute pots.  Then we’re going to keep it that way. And I’m going to see if I breathe a little easier, maybe cook a little more, actually enjoy my morning cup of coffee.

Easier said than done, right? I know. I really, really know. But I’m going to stick with it, just to see. My kids are on board. My husband will do his best.  I just need to know if it will help.

I will give you all an update in a few weeks, let you know how it goes. Wish me luck! (Trust me, I’m going to need it.)

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