Thanks for the various cleaning/organizing tips. I've done the Flylady system, but it only seems to work for keeping the house clean for me. It doesn't help me get organized. She insists that you can't organize clutter. You just have to throw it out. But I have clutter that must be organized. I've also made a very ill-fated attempt at the Clean Sweep approach. The book I was reading last night, Outwitting Clutter (don't recall the author's name, and the book is downstairs) made a lot of sense to me. The author seems to think in much the same way I do, and he's an author working out of his home, so he has similar problems. He said one thing that really makes sense, that organized people probably aren't the best ones to teach disorganized people how to get organized because they don't think the same way. He also talks about finding what works for you because whenever there are a hard and fast set of rules, you're doomed to failure (I think that was part of my problem with Flylady).
Speaking of rules and such, I've realized that I'm really being a rebel. It's National Novel Writing Month, and this happens to be the month I'm taking off from writing. I've been working on a book during November for the past three years, but I've never done the NaNoWriMo thing officially, mostly because of all those rules about when you start, what you work on, and all that. I also have to ask, based on my experiences in writing books during November (and, therefore, my taking the month off this year), what sadist picked November to force yourself to write a book in a month?
For Americans, at least, it's a busy month, with a big, honking holiday in it, the kind that generally requires either travel or a lot of hosting and cooking. (I bet it was a man, and he thought he'd come up with the perfect excuse for not participating in the holiday: "Gee, honey, I'd love to help you get dinner ready or wash dishes, or entertain all my relatives that I insisted we have over, but I have to go finish my word count for the day." And then he spent the rest of the holiday in the ER having a turkey baster removed from a delicate area.) Then there's the upcoming holiday season, which requires stuff like shopping, cleaning, cooking and decorating, some of which starts in November. If you're in any kind of performing group or have kids who are doing that kind of thing, there are usually extra rehearsals to prepare for the holiday programs. High school football playoffs are going on. The last writing conferences of the year are going on. A lot of the big books are coming out, the big Oscar-bait movies are coming out and it's sweeps month on television. Talk about doomed to failure!
I think January makes for a better novel writing month, although it lacks the catchy alliteration. You go into January with all the enthusiasm of a fresh start and all those resolutions. With support and incentives, you can establish a pattern of behavior to write every day, which becomes a habit after about 28 days. Do that for the rest of the year and you can then take time off in November and December. There aren't any major holidays that month that require preparation or travel, aside from the first and, for some people, MLK Day, which is like a free day. The weather is generally not conducive to going out and doing anything. The dud movies are hitting theaters. A lot of TV is in reruns. Plus, the month has an extra day in it! It's the perfect time of year to hole up and write a book.
So, I think I'm declaring January to be novel writing month around here. Anyone else is welcome to join me. Don't feel guilty if life gets in the way this month, because there's another chance around the corner.