As I could when I was a teenager, I could see the reason tidying my room was beneficial; the only way to get across the room was to step in the strategicially arranged clearings just big enough for feet on tip-toe, but the thought of the mammoth task meant I put it off until I absolutely had to.
It wasn't so bad once I was getting stuck into it of course, but there would always come a point where I would look around at the piles of papers waiting to be organised, recycled or thrown away, the clothes that needed washing ironing or putting away and somehow the room was a worse tip than it was before I started. Every available surface would be covered in stuff, junk, crap and I would wonder to myself why I started, why did I pull it all apart, the mess I was sitting in just seemed impossible to clear and restore order.
This is where I feel I am with my writing currently. I have hacked at my novel, I have colour-coded bits everywhere and two files of 'bits I cut and am not sure what to do with'. My word count keeps dropping as I keep hacking out the old plot and prose that just doesn't read well/right. The novel is now in such a state of disarray I'm wondering how I'll ever get it back into a respectable, functioning form.
But, as I found when tidying my room, if you persevere, if you push through that moment of doubt, the uncertainty, you'll find that suddenly as you take that pile of papers away to recycle and as you dump the armful of clothes in the laundry basket, a section of carpet appears and it spurs you on. You begin to see progress and finally, suddenly, you put your last odd few pens in the desk and suddenly you realise it's done. The room is tidy and boy does it look great. You feel good, you feel refreshed and you're damn glad you got stuck in to the mess and persevered.
I'm not there with the book yet, but I know I'll get there; I'm too stubborn to give up! And I'm so looking forward to standing back when it's all done and all tidy and feeling proud of my hard work.
For the time being however, I'll be connecting with my inner teenager for just a wee bit longer!