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Saturday, 25 October 2014

WRITERS AND CLEANING: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

At the end of my previous post I trotted out the view that you should write your material at speed, edit, and publish.
   Though it seemed off at a tangent - the post was about clicking in the ear - I had a point. The point was...
   I wrote that blog post at speed, edited, and published. There was no room for faffing about. A short piece is a short piece is a short piece. Write it. Is it done? Yes. It is short. Cook it in the oven for a few minutes...
   Now that it is warm, remove the piece from the oven. You are done with it.


*

Something you are never done with is cleaning. Three tonnes of coffee particles? Swept away in the jumbo-sized dumper truck I employ for purposes of comedy. There'll be more particles to clear tomorrow.
   What am I really talking about, though?
   Paperwork, in the digital age. Yesterday, I shuffled books around and raised a shelf by one peg-hole. This dramatic change means more space for taller books on the lower shelf. I knew you were just bursting to ask about that.
   Today I recycle documents. Those in need of shredding go to a separate pile. This is part of office mismanagement. I've yet to lose the wrong piece of paperwork to the shredder.
   And I've yet to see the back of the paper-filled office, even in this Digital Age. An age, incidentally, that fell gradually on us with its casual snowflake-on-snowflake approach to insidious infiltration.
   Do I deal with more paperwork, now that the world is a digital place? No. I just notice more of the paper-based stuff. Or maybe I save it up into huge piles before dealing with it.
   Writers and cleaning. Not coffee. Though coffee must be swept away. Cleaning the office. And not the office. Not the paper that piles up. Routine.
   I'm talking about the routine of dealing with things. Shifting a shelf was about planning far ahead. I do that planning thing, sometimes.
   Not here, as I've run out of steam. This blog post just died. Maybe I wanted to let would-be writers know that the office is a living breathing thing that will fall over and squish you if you don't maintain it.
   Today, which is far from over, I went through the house looking for paper to throw into the recycling monster's maw. That bin was practically empty. It is now impractically half-full.
   No, I haven't finished going through the house. To my left, more chunky slabs of paper. Ah, but I see that it is Coffee o'Clock.
   I must away, to chivvy the scurvy knaves into setting the java-sails while I plot a course to the land of Caffeine.

*

Days pass. And still, I must see to this endless tide of paper. Where the fuck is this stuff coming from? It breeds in the night. And during the day.
   I have cleared most of the office and much of the library. But there are shelves stacked with unloved paperwork that I must now see to. That is a cheap way of saying I'll be taking a flamethrower to some more material shortly.
   Perhaps I am the only one left. No one else operates in this way. You all went digital, you swine, leaving me to glance belatedly skyward as piles of books topple and blot out what little sunlight there is.

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