IWSG Day and Library Out of Storage!

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

Today's question is: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

The short answer is, I don't!

The long answer is, that when I'm drafting a new story, there's no question about finding time. Time just magically appears. I stay up late writing, and don't feel unrested. I scribble on napkins. I write notes to myself on my phone. I avoid social media because, hello!, there are characters to discover and exciting events happening. I hear conversations in my head while walking. Every image I see reminds me of the characters...

Then the story is done. It needs typing up, most of the time, from notebooks. That's okay, too. There's time in the morning if I get in to work early. There's time during the baby's nap. Slowly the crumpled already-typed pages pile up. Minor edits are done and missing scenes have been written.

And then there's a complete draft in Scrivener. Time to print and start editing!

This gets done, too. There may be a long train trip, a work event with a long break during which I can hole up and read. The manuscript is covered in scribbles.

And that's the stage I'm at with most of my stories -- a pile of printouts covered in scribbles. For some reason, entering those changes, really digging in to character motivation and story arcs, seems to be a sticking point for me. I just cannot find the motivation. And suddenly there's no time in the day. Work is extra busy. Lots of family events. Niggling chores. Many exciting books to read. And my own tales just get pushed to the wayside.

This is why I love doing NaNoWriMo -- an excuse to go back to the happy drafting stage!

But when will I edit?

Thank you to our co-hosts this month! C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata.

I've got my photos together to share the day our storage stuff arrived:

47 bins, 12 boxes, and 4 wardrobe boxes!

(I ended up collating most of the photos because Blogger continues to turn half my photos upside down, and I just can't figure out why.)

I wanted to have all the storage stuff all organised as quickly as possible, and managed it in just a few days, with help from family.

For the first time, we have all our books out -- yes some are in cupboards and some (also for the first time, as I'd much rather have everything visible -- it's out of sight out of mind with me, and I forget a lot -- but there's just no space) are in the second layer on the shelf behind the first (to help my memory I tried to suggest their presence -- e.g. one big crime story hardcover is a clue that all the Agatha Christies are back there!), but there are no books in bins, hidden away!

Found the reply card that Julian Barnes sent me, when I had the temerity to answer his questionnaire at the end of Flaubert's Parrot. Wish I'd kept a copy of my answers to all those philosophical questions! 
There's the truck arriving... And a Delftware dish showing an absinthe drinker...

It begins...

Getting there...

A few piles to go...

Avalanches of books... and some school stuff in bins, to be kept in our storage space here in the apartment...

Done! All the Folio Society books are now together, for the first time!
Hmm, I didn't catch all the comic books in that first photo on the left... And there's one other shelf in another cupboard, for all the Paul Austers and Rose Tremains and many others. Plus the cookbooks in the kitchen!

Finally have all my MG and YA together!

Tolkien, Inklings, Canadiana, poetry, Celtic myths and legends,  art,  Bukowski, Stephen King, and Diana Gabaldon plus Forumites!

Tolkien shelfie!

Then there are the bins of books to give away -- that is also a first. I'm finally parting with a few books, especially some of the duplicates I've bought here and there at book fairs, not remembering I already owned them. Might even hold a contest here for some!

And, of course, this means they'll all have to be removed from the library catalogue!

But there are still items missing!

The movers were so quick and efficient that there wasn't time to arrange with family to have other items brought to the storage space and included in the packing, so we haven't got our records, or my coin collection, or a few scrapbooks, or the three bins at my sister's:


I'd forgotten which books were there; turns out there are many of the Turkish books in translation by Professor Joseph S. Jacobson that I reviewed, and all the Vonnegut, and more.

Or the 11 other Andrew Lang fairy books (I brought the Blue Fairy Book with us as a token), which are still at my parents' house:


As a result of all this, I've instituted the third round of the Book Buying Ban, effective until Christmas -- at least!

Have you moved recently?
Did you throw out lots of stuff before you moved, or in your new space?
Or did you keep everything?


Zan Marie said…
Congrats on having the books out of storage! That's big. As for edits, I'm good at typing the corrections in. It's making the transition back to drafting in the holes that is hard for me. Speaking of that, I'd better get busy. ;-)
Pat Garcia said…
My home office flooded this year in May and my wall to wall bookcase with all of the books at the bottom had to be thrown away. In fact, the entire basement had to be emptied so that it could dry before the workers started renovating it. So, I know how you feel.
As for writing, sounds like you get stuck at editing.
I hope you get unstuck soon.
All the best.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia
Hi Deniz - well that must have been a shock ... all the books arriving - so pleased you've got a sufficiently big space to store them. Looks like you've moved to Geneva for a while .......

Like you I hate putting things away that I can't see ... I have books to read and then pack out to the Hospice ... but I tend to read a book and want immediately to re-read it or write a post about something in it ...

Well done though ... just enjoy having them around you ... how many little fingers will be pulling books out?! Take care and enjoy - cheers Hilary
Diane Burton said…
You are more organized than I am. I moved 3 yrs ago. Firs time we moved without the company paying for it. Since it was on our dime, I got rid of a LOT of stuff, esp. books because they're so heavy and we paid by the pound in an intrastate move. Gave the books to the local library for their used book sale. That made me feel virtuous. LOL Good luck with finding everything.
Crystal Collier said…
When will you edit? That's a good question. I'm surprised you actually print your pages out! I can't do that. The ink alone... I'd go broke! =)
Wow! You could open up your own library.
I'll trade you - you write my first drafts and I'll edit for you.
sage said…
You have a nice library. I moved in the summer of 2014 and "divested" of around 10 boxes of books. Still, I have more than plenty and expect the book weight was 1/2 the total moving weight. We still moved over 60 boxes of books.
OMG, that's a lot of books. I'd be thrilled to have them in my library. But too many books and too little time. Happy IWSG Wednesday, Deniz. I wish I were moving. We still haven't sold the house. I did pack away a ton of stuff, but now my basement is crowded.
It's definitely hard to find time to write; until recently, I hadn't written anything in months, except for stuff for work. That's why I've started carrying my journal around with me again, so that I can write in snatches during the school day. My only fear is that my students will find and read it. :)
I have tons of books, too. I don't know how I'll ever pack them up to move. So you're a brainstormer and everyone talks to you. Lucky you! I find the first draft the hardest. Yes, revision can be difficult, but somehow that's easier for me. I'm following your blog now, Deniz. Thanks for sharing. All the best to you.
S.P. Bowers said…
I wanted to throw out a bunch of stuff when we moved. Hubby is a little bit of a hoarder. We didn't have time for as much purging as I wanted, and hubby hadn't wanted to at all and I got tired of pushing him. This last weekend we got the rest of our stuff out of storage (after a year!) and hubby said 'why didn't we just throw everything away before we moved?' Grrrrr.
Michael Di Gesu said…
Hi Deniz,

I moved just last year into the loft.... then moved again six months later into the Orlando condo (winter escape).... Now I am selling the loft because I miss my stunning sweeping views of the lake, park, and Chicago skyline... so I'll be moving AGAIN!

Not fun for sure. In Orlando It was such fun unpacking my books there.... I had them in storage since 2004. I was amazed at how many. twenty boxes filled. I barely had room on three six ft. bookshelves. I have many books here in Chicago too, but they are still in boxes. I just finished rehabbing the loft, so the books need to stay packed because the take up too much room. One has to keep the space as empty as possible for selling.

Have before and after pics at my blog when you get a chance...

I am SOOOOOO impressed how much you read and write. You are amazing!
Olivia Rose said…
Wow! Deniz, you are in book haven! I would love to go through them all :)
Helen R-S said…
Wow, look at all those books! You must be so pleased to have all your books back *s*

I moved at the start of this year. I did get rid of some stuff (not only books) before I moved, and got rid of some more during the unpacking phase. It probably won't surprise you that I had more boxes of books than anything else *g* I did take the opportunity while unpacking to sort out my books properly so now they're all shelved by genre.

I don't _like_ getting rid of books (unless they're ones I really hated) but if I'm not likely to read them again then I figure that 1) I'd rather they went to someone else who'll read them, and 2) it's more space on the shelves for new books that I want to get!
Beth Camp said…
Your post made me ever grateful we've downsized to a two-bedroom apartment, though Hubby still has his four bookcases, and I have three (and 3 file cabinets) for books, still too many books. And I still have four boxes of books that I'm nearly ready to let go of. Yes, I love books, but now the library is where I get that immensely pleasurable sensation of being surrounded by possibility and writers. How lovely to finally have your books arranged just the way you like! Thank you also for sharing how the writing happens "between" and which parts you love (and don't love). I just finished analyzing my current wip to discover I get to rewrite/redream the entire middle (back to storytelling and drafting), so I'm pretty happy. May your writing, moving, unpacking go well!
I wish I had such an organized space for all my books. Ad more "offline time" to spend with several of them....

But I don't know if I'd like moving again just to do that....

Your process sounds an awful lot like mine... explains one of my problems with publishing. :-/ Here's to moving to the next step.
Hundreds of books!
This is Book Heaven!
Hope you get to unpack and settle in soon, Deniz.
So many books! Somehow I missed that you were moving! May your new home be a joyous one- clearly, it WILL be book-filled! =D
Nas said…
So many books! I still have packed boxes of my books from my last move :)
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much everyone!

Sorry to hear about the flooding Pat. My parent's basement flooded a while ago and I lost a few books then :-(

Ooh, imagine if we could all put our books together into one massive library...
Anonymous said…
I may have stolen some books from the bins I have :)) A few Vonneguts, some Stephen King...and a Márquez too I think.
Deniz Bevan said…
We picked up lots of Stephen King at the library book sale here!

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