Growing up, my room was a mess (note: this is not my room pictured, but it might as well have been). I was supposed to clean it. But I never did. By middle school, my mother had given up the battle of wills with me. I was perfectly content to wait her out on restriction until she cleaned it. Maybe because she still allowed cheerleading, gymnastics and baton. It was straight home afterwards, but that just meant I could curl up with a good book in my room (no television or phone allowed). Eventually, she would get so sick of it, she would just clean it. My brothers, on the other hand, were complete neat freaks.
Looking back, I don't know how I could stand it. It wasn't quite like an episode of hoarders, but I do shudder thinking of only having a small path from the bed to the dresser to the closet to the door. My dad would always say to my mom, "Well, she's creative, dear. You know how those creative people are. They like things cluttered."
I'm not even sure where that excuse came from. My dad's dad was creative but he never lived in clutter. Of course, he had a housekeeper so maybe that's why.
Anyway, when I moved out on my own, it was a shock. Living in the dorms at USC was so much fun. I had a drama student as a roommate...it made my room at home look neat by comparison. My mom would drive two and a half miles to clean my room. How embarrassing. Now. Back then, it was "OHMYGODMOMILOVEYOU!"
When I moved out and started working in television, I had little time to clean. Guess what? I did. I couldn't stand living in a sty. It stifled my creativity. What's up with that? I would work 60 hours and sleep half the day on Saturday, but as soon as I was up, the coffee was going and I was cleaning my place.
Now, I have plenty of time to clean. I could spend time every day doing something. I limit myself to once a week or writer's block. When I'm having trouble hashing out a particular chapter, the closets usually get an overhaul. If I'm avoiding the mess I've made of my character's life, I'll clean up the clutter in the house. A pile of bills will get paid and filed away. Shredding will get done. Dusting, vacuuming, steaming. I keep a clean house now - because I'm one of those "creative" types.
What about you - do you like clutter? Do you abhor it? Clean yourself? Hire someone to do it for you? And do you know where that whole creative = messy thing got started?
Canadian Zombie Babies
10 months ago