It's just soooooo much better

February 16, 2010 at 9:18 am (Events, Virtual Gems)


Call it the fresh new feeling of the Year of the Tiger, call it the crazy way I celebrate any holiday based on fathers, founding or otherwise, but I did something fabulous last night.

I cleaned.

And I didn’t just clean—I organized, I recycled, I threw away, I moved, I filed, I stored. I was a cleaning fool in pink Crocs and woe be to the area of my focus for that 90 minutes.

You see, a few years ago, I finally drank the Kool-Aid and got a MacBook. Then, with my handy-dandy laptop of Apple love, I discovered I write much better when I’m comfortable than I did at my Staples $109 tower with my (then) five-year old Dell thunked on pre-fab shelves. So as part of an amazing Christmas gift, Montana helped me transform my catch-all spare room into a blissful writing space. Soft and comfy moss-green chair in the corner, bookshelf under the window, new curtains, small table in the other corner for those times when workspace is needed—it was delightful! (And I noticed an upswing in my writing, so it worked!) I did keep the tower and the Dell (along with a filing cabinet) because we still used it all—maybe not as much, but it was still needed.

You know what’s coming next, don’t you?

Yes, just like an exercise bike or treadmill, things stacked up on that tower until it looked like a home office version of this:

Until last night. (Faster than a cross-cut shredder, stronger than a Rubbermaid file sorter, able to dust high shelves with a single wipe—it’s Cleaning Girl!!!) Yup, it was time. Time to take that area back, to make that area into what felt right to me, what I needed it to be, and into something that made me feel that little ‘click’ deep inside and just know it was soooooo much better.

Now, I’m not saying I have super powers or anything, but it also happens that last night I was thinking of my hero in my WIP and just not feeling him. I started to think about some other heroes I had in mind for future books, and when one total long shot popped into my head, I heard that ‘click’ again.  It turns out my cleaning wasn’t limited to my writing space, but also included my writing.

And I just know it’s soooooo much better.


  1. Marilyn Brant said,

    I do believe I need to call upon the powers of Cleaning Girl here in my home office, too. Does she have the equivalent of a Bat Signal??! Would she respond faster to payment in chocolate or iPod downloads? H-E-L-P meeeee! 🙂

    Congrats on getting reorganized. It’s a great way to clear away the end of one year (bye-bye, Ox) and usher in a new one (hello, Tiger!)…and, yeah, it’s good advice for manuscripts, too.

  2. Melissa Blue said,

    I know the feeling. I’ve been considering moving my bed to my son’s room. He doesn’t sleep in there. Ever. So it’s become the game room, but in a cramped not so fun way. If I move my room, but leave the computer I’ll have a semi-office. My bed won’t tease me when I’ve got to buckle down…And I’ve just been itchy because everything’s the same. A deep clean brings about that feeling of familiarity and change and so many new possibilities to be made.

    So, go you. Keep going because you never know when the bug might hit you again.

  3. Pamela Cayne said,

    Marilyn–the sad thing is I love doing this kind of deep cleaning/organizing. You can ask Montana–it’s a sickness. (And I’m pretty sure a bag of those new coconut M&M’s would get you anything you wanted, including the tires rotated on your car!) 😀

    Melissa–man, did you hit the nail on the head! Sometimes a clean helps blow you out of “the same” and into new possibilities. And I say reorganize your rooms–it did wonders for me! 🙂

  4. Montana (curtbooks) said,

    It is a sickness, and my poor little disorganized room feels like a tiny village awaiting the arrival of Genghis Khan.

  5. Pamela Cayne said,

    Montana–stand aside and let the pillaging and organizing hoards through, please. 🙂

  6. L.A. Mitchell said,

    Pam…so true that we have to get rid of the physical clutter to get to the best thoughts. I can’t start writing without a cleared desk…crazy, I know.

    I wanna soft, moss-colored chair in my rooooooommmmm, she whines.

  7. Sandra Ferguson said,

    First, I dropped by your ‘Broken’ page. Wow! That sounds like an amazing book. Love the cover.

    Second, I’m jealous. ‘Cleaning Girl’? Really? Darn, I wish I could be her. I know, I know, you’ll say anyone can be ‘Cleaning Girl’ with just the right motivation. Perhaps that’s the ticket. I’m a slob at heart and cleaning is only what I do when company’s coming. Well, maybe I’ll just pretend that company’s coming and see what happens.

    You! inspire me! Thanks, Pam.

  8. Robin said,

    Love it when things click! I hope you have a wonderful writing weekend in your nice clean writing space. 🙂

  9. Pamela Cayne said,

    L.A.–my cleaning goes in fits and starts, so this was one time having a fit was a good thing! (And yes, the chair is amazing!) 🙂

    Sandra–thanks! You have filled me to the brim with warm fuzzies. (And if it makes you feel any better, usually I’m just a cleaning-when-company-comes gal, too–ask Montana!) 😀

    Robin–I had to make a bit of a mess for a bit here, but it seems to be working for now. Pretty soon I’ll get it *really* cleaned up and tear things up, right? 😉

  10. Katie Reus said,

    I’m with you, cleaning can be sooooo therapeutic!!

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