7/16/2008

My Messy Bed



This mess is heaped upon my bed once a year, at least. Those multi-colored thingies are clear books—you know, folders containing plastic pockets where you can file photos and documents.

No table at home is big enough to carry this mess. So I lock up myself in the bedroom all day—taking a short lunch break—and organize my writing life in these bright memory filers.

There have been heaps of photos, documents, and press clippings since I started writing. In the beginning I simply threw them inside a cabinet.

A year later, however, I met a lady who wanted me to write about her sterling career that had ended. I hesitated. But when she showed me her color-coded, chronologically-filed photographs and documents—wow, a writer’s dream! The complete collection was so impressive I said “yes” to doing the project.

While writing her book, I saw why she documented everything. This career had her heart and soul.

That spurred me to dig up my own writing mementos and started storing them in these folders. Nothing fancy about my filing—no artsy labels or witty captions. I simply arrange them chronologically, scribble the dates, and put the items in the pockets. For easier filing, I have color-coded these folders: one color for each book.

When I am gone, these will interest no one. My boys will not throw them away (in deference to their mother); they will enshrine them in some space where dust will gather.

Well, I am not doing these for them. I have done enough—kept for each one in albums his photographs from the day of birth to college graduation.

I am doing these for me. While I arrange and review this colorful mess, my heart leaps at how grace has steered me towards a writing career—one that gives me so much enthusiasm and energy I never thought I could ever have.

3 comments:

PK said...

A wonderful idea...wish i would have done that years ago. But then, my folders would have been scattered all over the U.S. I still have belongings in Tn and Pa, one day soon they'll be here in Colorado.

Grace D. Chong said...

Never too late to start. Just read a book titled "Folders in My Mind" -- this filing system seems the literal translation of that idea.

Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

That's amazing you have written all those books. It's wonderful you get so much pleasure from writing and I think using a folder for each one is an excellent idea.