"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shifting Perspective

I hope summer's been treating you all great! With the kids home much of the time, I've been off the computer more than usual, so I'm taking that time to get some organization done around the house.

Note: I love organizing, and so does my son. My daughter...not so much.

Anyway, in cleaning up my office, I got some new bookshelves to fill a wall! I know, how exciting is that? There's nothing quite like new bookshelves to get you excited about cleaning up, right? The good news was that I had tons of new space. The bad news was the thermostat was right behind the shelves. Not so convenient for changing the temperature. So I had to move the thermostat and figured I'd move it over to the right a couple feet (behind the picture on the purple wall). Easy enough since the attic is above.

Notice my faithful companion.

The problem was once I got up in the attic, it couldn't have been more of a pain in the rear. There were about five reasons why it wouldn't work, and so after the hot frustration that is an attic in Texas in the summer, I took a shower. And that's where I had my "eureka" moment.

There was no reason the thermostat had to stay on that wall. The world was my oyster since it was upstairs. There was a much better spot in my office proper that already had a new switch wired to it. All I had to do was follow the wire. (see the spot on the far left on the golden wall.)

So why does this matter?

Because I was set in the mindset that I had to keep it on the same wall, and that was bogus. Sometimes I/we get so set in a paradigm of how things have to be done that we don't open up our mind to new possibilities. Happens in moving thermostats. Happens in writing. Happens in revisions. We need to shift perspectives.

In revisions this is one of those things that comes so much more quickly once I've had time away from a manuscript (like years). So the trick is learning to do this sooner rather than later. If you figure out how to do this, let me know. Maybe I should add it to my checklist.

PEANUT UPDATE: Nobody ate the peanut. We did have fun waiting to see if my husband would, but he didn't bite.


Marcia said...

Absolutely -- sooner rather than later is the sticking point. But it's so significant that you got this idea in the shower. You may have to climb back in to figure out the rest. :)

storyqueen said...

So true!

And I am glad nobody ate the peanut..I was a bit worried!


Kelly said...

Your bookshelf looks very organized! I organize the kids' bookshelves once a year. Their closets once or twice a year. I don't love it. I'm not that great at it. Thankfully my hubby organizes the kitchen pantries and cabinets for me. He has more of an eye for it!

Christy Raedeke said...

I've never seen a bookshelf with staggered shelves like that - it's brilliant! You can get twice as many books in and still see the top part of the spines. Great summer project!

Tiffany Neal said...

#1 I love that you get brilliant ideas in the shower too.

#2 I'm a bit green in jealousy over here because of the beautiful office and bookshelves.

Just sayin.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

LOVE the bookshelf! I wish I lived closer because I might sneak in all stealth style and steal it for my own! And you make such a good point, it is SO hard to let things change in WIPs that you've already worked so hard on/gotten so used to.

Also, if someone fills you in on how to do it sooner than later, let me in on it, ok?


Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

You are such a perfectionist!! I would just have cut a hole in the back of the shelf where the thermostat was and leave that section bookless. :) Your way is much more professional!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love organizing too. Wish my family did more and our house would stay cleaner.

I agree that sometimes changing your perspective helps with a manuscript at any stage of the writing. And yes, sometimes I wish I realized this sooner in the process.

Lynn Colt said...

yay new bookcases! Also, I get a lot of my eureka moments in the shower. There and in the car.

Miriam S. Forster said...

Hahaha! "he didn't 'bite'" Love it.

For me, shifting perspective is much easier if I get distance right after the first draft. If you've worked on a couple of drafts of the book already, it's hard to imagine things any other way.

I try to give a first draft at least six weeks before I even start to make it readable. That way nothing is set in stone yet and when I begin to move stuff around, it doesn't feel like as much of a violation. Just my two cents...

PJ Hoover said...

I'm all about long showers, Marcia. It sounds like a good excuse to me!

I was actually worried about the peanut, too, Shelley. It was there all weekend.

I love organizing my kids' bookshelves, Kelly, especially when they get involved. The closets do seem like a bigger job. How fun your hubby does the kitchen!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Christy! I saw it at a friend's house and totally copied. I loved the double stacking!

LOL, Tiffany! The shower is the best place for ideas. And I can't stop looking at the bookshelves :)

Oh, it would be fun if you lived closer, Sara! We could share books and writing moments!

PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Amy! That was my first idea and then my husband suggestion I move it. I can't believe I didn't think of it right off the bat.

Organizing is a constant thing, Natalie. It's good I like it.

The car is a good place, too, Lynn! I agree. And exercising.

Totally with you on the waiting period, Miriam. And I am getting better about being open to ideas up front these days.

Thanks, everyone!