The Daughter and I spent yesterday cleaning and sorting. A whole day of tidying up, throwing away and literally putting our house in order. Very therapeutic, editing our belongings on a grand scale.
I have always been a firm believer in editing. A wise woman once told me to constantly ask myself this: “What matters? What works? What’s next?”
Whether it is accumulated stuff or a piece of writing, the same theory applies. Ernest Hemingway said he could tell he’d had a great day’s writing when even the work he threw away was good. Finding the courage to cut down something on which you have lavished heaps of time and energy is a big ask. But in the process of re-working something, doing ten drafts instead of expecting the first to be perfect, your efforts are rewarded with Clarity with a capital C. Actually producing the first draft is good, but chipping away all the rough corners, sandpapering and polishing it is even better.
Recognising that something has outlived its usefulness is the first step. Having the courage to let it go is the next. Decluttering works in houses, writing and life, I propose.