I’ve been told people believe either one of two object placement beliefs. There’s a place for everything, put everything in its place; or wherever something is, that’s its place.
I’m the former and have been as far as I can remember. I laughed when my grandmother told me how if I had two feet of space, I’d stack everything neatly upward in totes in that space. I giggle at memories of working in Wawa in my early 20’s when I was told to “face the store,” which is a phrase for making sure each item’s label is facing outward so it’d be easy for the customers to find what they were looking for. I’ve always done that at home in cabinets, closets, freezer, refrigerator. My shoe boxes were stacked according to size.
Hangers all face one way with different hangers for different items. Heavy hangers for pants and jeans. Medium weight hangers for shirts and dresses. And, of course, no wire hangers (which is probably a subconscious traumatic trigger from watching Mommy Dearest all those years ago. Yes, that sounds good, we’ll go with that explanation of wire hangers).
My brain compartmentalizes most things, including friendships and relationships. I like things neat. I dislike drama. I appreciate when someone says what they mean and mean what they say. Authenticity and transparency seem to be a commodity. I tend to quickly disengage with people who often appear confused or frequently change their mind. I value sound reason and realistic expectations as well as self-accountability; I understand these things are relative.
I’ve shared how OCD effects my space and my relationships, but how does it affect my writing? As a black and white thinker, I also have the challenge of finding grey areas in life and writing. What I mean is that when I sit down to write an article or story, I want to finish it. I don’t want to start something and leave it undone. If I know I don’t have time or the energy to start and complete a project, I opt to not begin. This may be why I tend to write flash fiction or short stories. I’m not good with creating long plots, which requires a stop-and-go of writing because it simply can’t be done in one sitting. I used to have trouble regaining a train of thought. I’ve learned to counteract that with leaving a chapter off with a clearly identified mental marker of where the next chapter was to begin. Even my loose ends aren’t completely loose.
My OCD relates to my writing in a way that I love to write. I’ll have an idea. I’ll type it out. I lay it aside. Another day, I’ll have another idea. I’ll type it out. I love writing. I love writing more than what needs to come after a piece is written. What does that mean? That means I loathe editing and revising. It’s such a chore for me. I do enjoy my stories when I read them, but I’d much rather be writing something new, something fresh, something that feeds my need and love of writing.
I’ve developed what I call a “Focus List.” This list is of pieces I’ve written that need to be edited and revised in preparation for publication. So, here I am with over 30 pieces and am still writing more. This is madness. I need to either hire an editor or do it myself. I’ve been leaning toward the former.
The next thing is a question. Do I publish pieces on a blog-style website? Or do I hold off and publish the pieces as a collection of short stories, a collection of prose, a collection of flash fiction, etc.?
I’m interested in reading your thoughts on what hinders or motivates you in your writing, what path have you taken regarding website blog publishing or self-publishing pieces as collections and why you’ve chosen that path.
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(This article is cross-posted from deborahldixon.com)