Little Pieces of Paper

My desk is cluttered with little pieces of paper — and I couldn’t be happier.

I cleaned my desk a couple of months ago when I got a new computer and eliminated lots of clutter. Now, bits of paper cover the stand below my flat-screen monitor, but I’m taking that as a positive sign.

I cut pieces of printed copy paper that I no longer need into four pieces and use the back for notes. For months, I’ve maintained a relatively clean desk, free of paper pieces other than the tidy stack of ready-to-use ones placed neatly beside my mouse. In recent weeks, though, the little piles of little scribbled papers are mounting. I’m taking that as a sign that ideas are flowing in my brain again. State it however you like: The muse is back. The juices are flowing. Whatever.

Without shuffling the stacks, I can see two pieces of paper filled with ideas for blog posts. In fact, this post started as an idea crammed onto the bottom of an already-full sliver last night. Pushing aside one piece of blank paper, a flyer for a coffeehouse series we like to attend and a list indicating I’m out of book glue and barbecue sauce, I find another sheet crammed with blogging notes — and a reminder to finish preparing the information for my income tax return.

The papers, as it turns out, are filled with ideas gushing from an overflowing brain. Many of them are great ideas for great posts, and a few will turn out to be lesser quality ideas for projects I’ll probably never complete. Some are simple reminders of busyness or business I need to handle.

A brain overflowing with ideas again is a wonderful thing. For a while, I pretty much abandoned my writing career (and my true calling, as it turns out) to focus exclusively on my bookselling business. Sales are still good and selling books is my primary source of income, so I plan to continue it. And I like it. Writing must find a place in my life, however, and that place is increasing.

Scribbled bits of paper cluttering my desk are a constant, visible reminder that my brain is turning back on. Still, I really should clear away a few of them.