"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison
"Don't forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell." - Charles de Lint

21 May, 2023

Aiming for Less Clutter (Physically and In All Other Things)

I finally sent my old Kindle e-readers to Amazon for their trade-in program, and I deeply, sincerely hope the devices will get a much-needed update / repair so that someone else can benefit from them. There's nothing wrong with refurbished things as long as they're cared for in their second life. 

The disappearance of my e-reader has helped in lightening my daily burden when I pack what I need for work. It's also going to help me dial down the size of the bag I'm bringing with me, which at the moment is this backpack meant for school, hence the massive space capacity. For now I'm still hauling that around so I've got something to stuff my sweater in when the day gets warmer. Recently it's been winter-like in the early morning here in the Bay Area, only to turn more summer-like after midday, so I end up bundling up in layers on my way to work only to shed them before I clock out. 

There's been some pretty heavy fog cover every day since the start of the season, and I figured it'll go away once we get closer to the summer solstice. And speaking of summer and clutter, I'm set to go over my old print books -- all author copies of my books when they were published by small presses -- and donate them. 

It's one of those things again that might've been the result of ego, but for years I collected every author copy I was given when one of my books went live. But, you know, I never opened them. I just kept them as something like physical trophies of stories I spent so much time on through the years. And now none of those print copies matter anymore because some of them have undergone a last editing sweep before I republished them in their final editions. 

Even now I don't order author copies for myself. No room for those, firstly, and -- I don't want clutter. I'm happy to download digital author copies for myself, and I get to read them if and when I feel like revisiting my stories. I don't know if other writers go through the same change of heart, but I totally get it if they do. 

This shift in my thinking and behavior has been going on for a while now, but I think it really came to a head in 2020 when the pandemic really hit, and lock downs were enforced. All of a sudden everything changed, and I grew even more acutely aware of just how fleeting life is. Now I do find it easier to let go or to not own anything material unless it's something that has several important functions. 

Of course if I could only learn how to pattern and sew so I can buy thrift store clothes and alter them and repurpose them for my use as I really hate shopping for clothes. And to be honest, given how wasteful humanity's become, it's really not necessary for me to buy new stuff. Mind you, I could learn, but I have to find the time for it.

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