Creating amid chaos

One of the things writers mention often in the Writer’s Circle is their physical environments. Particularly clutter — how to deal with all the paper and more. I’ve promised to have a guest post soon from one of my favorite clutter experts, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime though, I wanted to bring up this question of clutter from a couple of different meta angles: sensitivity, energy, and life purpose.

Craving the relief from chaos

For a sensitive person, clutter is an energy drain because it’s overstimulating (one of the biggest challenges for a sensitive person). It affects your energy to work in a messy room because there’s so much more to pay attention to.

Mind you, that doesn’t stop me from doing it when push comes to shove, and in fact, my office is messier than I’d like it to be right now. At least on the surface. Underneath though, it’s fairly well-organized, so it’ll be a quick trick to whip it into shape.

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One of my “huge” drawings from back in the day. :)

When I create in chaos, I’m reminded of my old urban design days, where I used shuffle piles of huge drawings late into the night, struggling to meet whatever deadline I was targeting. My office mate used to say she loved to watch me “clean up” when I finished a project, because no matter what was coming down the pike (even if there was another deadline looming), I had to stop and put everything away before I could continue.

And I do find that I can work in a cluttered space for a time, but then I crave a certain kind of relief for it, a spaciousness that leaves room for my brain and my creativity to operate more optimally.

The energy of clutter

On an energetic level, sensitive people are more tuned into the stuff around them. I’ve always felt that we “carry” the stuff that’s around us, and as it stacks up, we begin to feel more and more burdened by it. And why wouldn’t we, if we’re carrying such a heavy load?

The cool thing about dealing with clutter is that we can work with it on a couple of different levels — both the practical mundane level and the energetic level. For instance, on the practical level, you can sweep it into a box and hide it temporarily (you’re only allowed to do this if you schedule time on your calendar to deal with it :) ) or you can stop what you’re doing and take the time to put it away.

Or you can approach your clutter on an energetic level and use energy clearing techniques to get the stuck energy broken up around the stuff so that it becomes easier to put it away. Someday I may teach my “space clearing energy skills” class again, but for now, try clapping your hands over the piles of clutter and see if you can dissipate the stuck energy that way.

Are you writing or speaking enough?

Many of the clients I work with have a “Lines of Genius” gift marking, which means they are called to be a “gifted author and speaker with a special message for a large audience,” or they have a “Messenger” life purpose. Very often, people with this gift marking or purpose will be cursed with piles of paper and endlessly shuffling them around, feeling like they’re spinning in circles.

The solution? Write and speak.

Put the clutter away, clear the decks, and start writing. Schedule the time on your calendar to deal with the clutter incrementally, but don’t let it stop you from writing, or it’ll just get worse. :)

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writerscirclepostOne of the things we love about the Writer’s Circle is that it really helps you put the focus on your writing, first. If you need a little nudge in that regard, the next session starts soon, and we’d love to have you join us. You can find out more and register at http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

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Your turn

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Is clutter holding you back? How does it feel to you energetically? Is there anything it’s getting in the way of you doing?

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Comments

  1. Oh, nice one. Another energy dispelling trick is to just turn that particular pile upside down and then put it away. However, clapping sounds fun and I will give it a try.

  2. The trick for me is to have a ‘working pile’ of creativity. You may be aware of people who can dive into a stack of papers beside them and pull out any document you ask for. Because this is a functioning bit of clutter it’s constantly being shuffled, re-assessed and even diminished as old projects end and get filed. When I was a store manager I had an empty file folder ready and waiting to temporarily house my working pile in case some twisted neat freak from head office showed up and wanted to see a clean (read Empty) desk. Empty desks rarely get work finished.

    Now I have Microsoft Office One Note to fulfill the clutter option. Entire forests have been saved. ;) Meanwhile my replica of the Enterprise hovers in the background. This week it carries a triceratops but that’s another story.

  3. Kaye says:

    Grateful to read your article about clutter to start my work here today Jenna. The reminder about hand clapping is helpful. I am pretty organized, actually, but I have family that lives in a messy environment, so I do deal with it. My clutter is more mental/emotional clutter. Thanks Jenna.

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