Another example, all of the items on a desk or dresser will be all lined up at right angles to one another. It makes a very neat and organized appearance. I work on a notebook computer, both for my transcription and my writing, so I don't have a desk. Part of me is grateful as I do not have to worry with keeping it clean and clutter-free and "just perfect."
In the pantry, all cans and boxes are stacked together and facing the same direction. The cans should make nice, little rows, and the "face" of the can should be facing outward so you can read the label and know what is in the can without having to reach toward it and twist the can around until you can see the label. And boxes…for some reason, I like to line up the boxes sideways (instead of toward the front.)
Also on a desk, all pencils must be sharpened to the same length. That way, when they are in the jar or whichever type of pencil holder you have, they are all sticking up the same length. They are nice and even. It is very pleasing to the eye.
People with this kind of OCD sometimes feel as if they cannot function when things are "out of order." We spend a lot of time arranging objects, rearranging objects…putting things away, asking others to be neater, then trying to make up the difference when their "neater" is not our "neater." Sometimes we even go as far as to discard objects of an uneven number. I don't like to admit it, but I have done this.
The symmetry thing…yep, that's me, unfortunately.
The right angles…yep, that looks so neat and makes me happy.
The cans…yep, that makes me sigh in relief. I will avoid the kitchen/pantry area when visiting friend's houses. There is such an urge to organize their boxes, their cans, line everything up the way it should be.
The pencils…oh yea, that makes me smile. I cannot sit down at someone else's computer and not straighten the desk area.
Don’t forget lists! As sad as it may seem to some people, in my life, I am probably ruled by lists. I make lists for lists. I do not go into a grocery store without a list. When I do, if I actually need to buy multiple things, I get anxious, like I am being overwhelmed, and usually just end up walking out of the store without buying anything. I know exactly how silly that sounds too. I will admit…I do make a lot of lists. Lists make me happy. They make me feel organized. I don't feel anxious about things because I know I have it written down on a list so I won't forget about it. I probably have a list for everything. I have cleaning lists and organizing lists. I have lists for each room. I have lists for holidays cleaning and baking. I have lists for packing with/without the boys while traveling. I have every-day-of-the-week to-do lists. I have lists for everything, seriously.
So, in what I think is a direct contrast to my organizational OCD, I somehow manage to, at most times, have multiple WIPs (works in progress).
For example, at this particular moment, I am focusing my writing on Saving Grace, but one of the characters, one of the Fallen, is named Remi (short for Remington) and good grief, he is really pestering me to write his story. I keep telling him this is Corvi's time to shine, but he is not listening well at all. So, I have a file on my desktop simply titled Remi. I find myself opening that file much more than I think I should, but Remi is a persistent little booger and wants to be heard!
And Cassi (short for Cassiel) is another of my angels, and she is the one I think I will write about next (much to Remi's disbelief.) There are times when I am writing, working on Urim's story, that something great ideas come to mind about Cassi. She has a minor part in Saving Grace, so this is a wonderful opportunity to develop her character a bit before actually delving into her story. So I go ahead and write it out, follow the idea, and then I have a folder on my computer desktop where I keep all of the ideas and short notes just for her story.
When I have time, when I feel emotionally steady enough to do it, I go back to my story, The Empty Seat, which is a combination of poetry written about my son and his death, and also an accountable history of his illnesses, his life and his death.
Where I belong is my second published book, which is no longer being published, so I have been thinking about turning it into an ebook.
I still have the organizational OCD blog that I would like to turn into a short self-help ebook, but I am honestly a bit overwhelmed with figuring this out.
So, for those keeping count, I have
1. Saving Grace
3. Cassiel (the second story to be told of my angels)
4. The Empty Seat
4. Where I Belong
5. Organizational OCD
As strict and organized as I may seem to be in my life, my writing style seems to be a bit…scattered. Maybe it's my muse. Maybe I have organizational OCD, but my muse has ADD.Maybe my muse is the one that cannot focus on projects for too long at a time before moving on to something else, if only for a short time, just for a battery recharge, or an overall story rejuvenation, or simply because she likes to watch me flail.
I think, or I hope, that with each new draft, each revision, that I am learning, that I am growing, that I am not making the same mistakes. The more I write, the more I think I learn about me, about my writing style, about my writing voice. I know which authors I like to read. I know which authors I aspire to be similar to, at least in genre. But I want to be me! I want to have my own voice! I hope by continually writing on varying projects, that with each one, I learn a little bit more about myself.
Until next week, (and next week I am participating in a blog tour so keep a weather eye on the horizon)