Chaos and Post-its
At any given moment, the inside of my mind has two to three conversations shouting over a TV that changes channels every three seconds in the middle of a Sharknado. The ideas collide like bumper cars and then vanish like those awesome memories from the fourth of July that the Jell-O Shots blacked-out.
Which explains why my vacuum sits in the center of the living room, where it was dropped when I remembered an overdue blog post that I started to write before I remembered an old bill and two uncashed checks, and the fact that it was garbage day, and the phone rang as a spider climbed up the wall, and then a new short story popped up in the mist and nothing — NOTHING — got done.
I’ve learned to live via a dollar store solution. Color-coded post-its cover a few of the walls in my living room. Large post-its have the names of large projects. Normal Post-its are chapter/scene titles and breakdowns. Tabs hang from those smaller notes with edits or questions I need to address. Purple note cards are plays in the works. Yellow notes are short stories. Blue are novel ideas, and the pink ones help me keep track of my own homework. Red is my grading schedule. White is my grocery list. My living room is a rainbow of squares, but it’s so much easier to think when I can see all of my ideas, and understand where they connect, conflict or overlap.
But the best part is the riiiiiiiiip when I pull the sticker off the paint. It’s so rewarding to pull each post-it down as a chapter is completed, and I see that empty wall space. For me at least, if a chapter gets posted on the wall, the chapter gets written. Maybe because I can feel it looming over me. Maybe because reminder post-its will multiply like bunnies if it’s not finished. Or maybe because I know that organizing my thoughts on a wall helps my brain to neatly file them away. Regardless, this calms all the background noise in my brain.