Thursday, 15 November 2012

Dilemma becomes Delight (almost!)

Just three of my garden journals
It seems far longer than 15 days since I began this blog. Life was meant to become easier when I gave up one of the day jobs; and indeed it has in some respects - sorting the house, and the garden; but oh the dilemma of what to discard and what might still 'come in handy' - and that's just boxes, bags, drawers and trunks full of nigh on 75 years of the written word. The dilemma is not just what to keep, or the unbearable thought of throwing away years of published work, but the fact that I seem to be losing my mind. Cannot recall what I am doing from one minute to the next. It's the brain that needs de-cluttering!

And then 10 days ago I hit on a possible solution. I work simultaneously in far too many journals and sketchbooks on so many topics. I cannot keep track of what is in where, or even where they are around the house - so many rooms. But for some reason I had acquired a new mid-year diary (July 2012 to August 2013) because the cover was so distinctive I thought it could not be lost amongst the piles balanced on chairs. With a page to each day, I thought to jot down brief notes on what I wrote and in which journal. And also list emails that need action (I must get 100 a day), and photographic images taken for specific features. I check each day, and spend one day a week 'catching up' on what hasn't been done. The brain can concentrate again on being creative - and instead of scraps of paper in each room ready for instant thoughts, I now keep pads of post-it notes handy; write what comes into my head (usually words for features upon which I am working) and then post it on the diary page for that day. This may all seem so childish - I've spent the best part of 55 years devising teaching notes, magazine publishing schedules and marketing schemes but none of that has stood me in good stead for the onset of dementia, if that is what faces me now. But this is not a sob story; my solution is not quite 'delight' yet; true progress can be assessed in another fortnight, perhaps. (And before anyone suggests it, I have apps on my phone and programs on my computer/s, but prefer the physical aspects of writing - the pen on the page has always been special to me.)

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