I moved house last week. During the packing process I was astounded at the number of boxes I filled. I half-heartedly vowed to be a more minimalist human in the future, however, I’m not sure writers can be minimalists.
Every few months I fill the pages of a new notebook – story ideas, phrases I like, song lyrics, similes I want to steal, contact details for fellow writers / websites / festivals / books. Let’s say I fill three notebooks a year, and that the notebooks have been piling up since my teens. That’s a lot of notebooks.
I also buy a diary each year. Its primary function is to keep my life in order, but it quickly acquires opening lines for chapters, jotted details for competitions and so on. Again, two decades worth.
I subscribe to Writer’s Digest magazine, Mslexia and I get the monthly Romantic Writers Association trade magazine. They are full of handy tips, techniques and teaching resources so I hate throwing them out.
Then there are the books. You learn to write by reading. Famous writers are always reminding us of this. The fact that I filled five boxes with books shows I’m really dedicating to learning the craft.
And finally – the manuscripts. Copies of chapters printed off, annotated. Scenes from stories I plan to complete. Binders full of research.
The result is boxes. Numerous boxes. Heavy boxes. I need more than a room of my own. I need a mansion.