After having read, in the 7.10.16 issue of the Times Magazine, the feature article “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Brodesser-Almer, which is based on Marie Kondo’s best seller “Marie Kondo and the ruthless war on clutter,” on the New York Times best-seller list for 86 weeks and counting, I’d found a way to edit my novel, “with that spark of joy.”
I intend to buy Kondo’s book, but enough insight into her method of tidying up clutter in closets, clutter around the house, clutter in your life, is stated in the article. Wanting a “clutter free life,” got me to focus on a clutter free novel; my novel, with no filters that clog the sentence, clog the flow, clog the essence of the story. Kondo’s method is simple: “Hold each item of clothing or whatever, to see if it sparks joy in your body. The ones that spark joy get to stay. The ones that don’t, get a heartfelt and generous goodbye, via verbal communication.” I’ve tried this method with my clothing and possessions that no longer give my joy. It works. So I’d figured, why not apply that method to my novel.
I did apply her method to my novel. It works. It’s now easy to say goodbye to my little darlings. I no longer add words to what had already been edited, thinking I could make it better; no it doesn’t get better. If what I’ve written sparks joy, it stays. If not, it goes. I’m cleaning up my novel and feeling free.