After countless promises to “get around to it someday”, I’ve finally begun. No more excuses. No more procrastination. Damien will be pleased.
For years now I’ve been meaning to start blogging. Damien keeps asking the Newbie Writers members for regular bloggers, and if you searched through the mound of paperwork on my desk, you’d find that every last to-do list I’ve ever created shows near the top, “Write first blog post!!!” Woo hoo … I can finally tick that one off my list. (However, “Write follow-up blog post” now sits proudly in its place.)
As I ponder where to start, my eyes drift over to the aforementioned mountain of paperwork (I’m sure it’s multiplied in size since just a few moments ago). Why is it there? Do I even know what treasures lay hidden underneath the latest unsolicited credit card application that arrived in today’s mail? Obviously not, since just three days ago I turned the house upside-down searching for a blood test form belonging to my daughter. I knew it had come in exactly one month ago, so I had a vague idea as to the depth of the pile to dig around in.
As I riffled through the appropriate section, I re-discovered all sorts of things that I had previously put aside to attend to straight away. I’m ashamed to say that as I found these crucial documents I placed them in a fresh pile to deal with once I had the medical paperwork sorted. As I did so, I just knew that the likelihood of this new pile being in exactly the same place tomorrow, untouched, was 100%. It got me asking myself why I’m so pedantic and meticulous when it comes to my career, yet my personal filing and organisational system is so lacking. Ask me where the novel I edited four months ago is – I can show you in an instant. Looking for a copy of that article I wrote in April – it’s in my hands before you can blink. Yet, should you ask to see the phone bill which came just yesterday, you’ll have to launch an expedition through the precariously balanced stacks of junk mail, electricity bills, receipts, and those little instruction booklets that you get whenever you buy a new appliance which are currently smothering my desk – even then I can’t guarantee that you’ll find what you’re looking for.
People are always good-naturedly (I hope) teasing me about my obsession with all that is ‘correct’ and ‘ordered’ and ‘right’, yet if they were to see the state of my desk they’d probably assume my children were to blame for the disarray. I wonder if it’s just me, or is there a widespread phenomenon where people strive to do well in their ‘real jobs’ but then slack off when it comes to their personal lives. I’ve given up hoping my automotive technician of a husband will change the oil or check the tyres. Do cleaners have messy homes? Do lawyers put off writing a will? Do debt collectors forget to pay their bills on time?
Regardless of the answer, today is Day 1 of the new, improved me. As soon as I finish writing this post I will tackle the first batch. (Incidentally, “Tidy up paperwork” is on just about all of my to-do lists as well.) The best – or maybe worst – thing is, by publicly declaring that I will change my ways, I’m now accountable. Things are going to be different around here!
And, as soon as I’ve whittled down the clutter on my desk and achieved a sleek, organised workspace, I’ll be able to start on my next blog post – perhaps it’ll even be something to do with writing or editing!
No more excuses. No more procrastination. Damien will be pleased.
Emma is a freelance editor and writer who got her start at Newbie Writers two years ago. In her previous career she was an accountant, but escaped the numbers game to envelop herself in the literary world.
Emma’s Exceptional Editing & Proofreading