I spent some time cleaning up my study a bit this afternoon. Now I’m left feeling as if I can’t tell if I’m relieved or if I’m going to have a panic attack when I’m working and can’t find things. Clutter to some can make them feel crazy, yet clutter can also be simply someone’s life. I know that when I’m working, especially on my novel, if I need something I want it to be right where I left it. The creative zone, for me at least, is a very fragile existence. When I am flowing there is no stopping it but if I have to wander off to find a quote or a picture that I remember inspires me I do not want it to take long. There is something to be said for having your own private place to work, one in which you follow no one but your own rules.
There is a great piece by the NYT’s Gretchen Reynolds entitled “What a Messy Desk Says About You” from last September that is worth a gander on the subject. Messy vs Clean is all about personality traits. Many have studied the personality traits of all the different people on this planet and how it affects each and everything we do. We live in a world that enjoys analyzing every bit of the world and all that resides in it. This has its pros and cons obviously. Results are mostly varied on this particular subject. “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition which can produce fresh insights.” Dr. Vohs and her co-authors conclude in a study mentioned in the piece. This gives me a little hope that I can still achieve greatness with papers, sticky notes, and books spread out across my desk.
Some may see a messy desk but I see blood, sweat, and tears.