Jack of Many Trades

New, Again

Originally posted: 2016-02-10

Happy Lunar New Year! Slightly late, as usual. I celebrate my third new year at this time, between Imbolc and Lunar New Year. This is the new year that really feels like a new beginning. Things are starting to grow, it's not super cold and miserable every day while I wait for the train.

I certainly could choose, instead of multiple specific new years, to make some sort of "every day is a new year, every day is a new start" philosophy work, but to be honest, those sorts of changes don't stick for me. I need a schedule. I like order.

I'm not necessarily good at order, but I like it and I try to seek it because my natural state is chaos. I make lists and plans and schedules. I make, for example, a neatly ordered outline of how I intend to KonMari my spiritual life.

But I still can't find my jewelry and my bone runes so I can get rid of them and clearly getting hung up on this doesn't help anyone, and all of the things that would be in that "group of stuff" are things I consider to be very personal and fairly valuable, so they're unlikely to be tossed this early in the process anyway. What I learned from my first pass at the physical KonMari is that everything is more interwoven and more complicated than I thought, so I will definitely need to come around again.

In Spark Joy, Kondo speaks about honing one's sense of joy and how many of her clients have trouble deciding what joy feels like when they start the process. I suspect this is why her clients boast a 100% success rate - what she's teaching them is not how to throw things away but how to tell whether the things in their lives spark joy. Once you start applying KonMari-type principles outside of their intended context, you begin seeing them everywhere.

Jessica Abel talks about finding a single creative goal and sticking to it, fully committing. I have a long, long list of works in progress and plot cards and story hooks that I haven't even started on yet. Abel is absolutely right about the tendency to spend a little time on everything and accomplish nothing.

I have plot ideas I've been holding onto since I was eleven. If I sat down and wrote out a list it'd be far too long to fit on the worksheet she offers. (In fairness, the worksheet itself suggests it might be insufficient.) I need to give myself permission to move some things to "not in progress right now" and then put it somewhere I can't see it anymore.

Writing is so interlinked with my moods that I think doing this now instead of waiting until I'm done with the metaphysical KonMari is reasonable, especially because I'm still compiling my list of practices.

This is starting, but it's keeping going. Abel recommends picking a project that's comparatively easy to finish if you haven't had a lot of luck finishing before. I have a few fiction projects that are in different stages of done. While I'd like to work on Unstuck, I'm still, well, stuck as I work on straightening out some plot kinks. While I let that simmer, I'm going to take Abel's advice and work on something that's a bit more complete.

There's something to be said for the feeling of finishing something, after all, and the joy of keeping going is in making progress.