Forget spring cleaning. I’m doing a pre-Christmas sweep of the house, trying to organize the odds and ends and simplify as much as possible. Tonight that means sorting through old papers, filing some and disposing of others. It’s tedious and I’m looking forward to it being over. But in the meantime, here are the three best parts of the job:

  • Being kept company by the cat, who has made a bed out of the cardboard box filled with recyclables
  • Rediscovering music I used to listen to, which is a fun blast from the past
  • Finding notes on scraps of paper

Regarding that last item, I just found a scrap with notes I appear to have jotted down in 2004. They’re for a writing exercise. They go like this:

Sit in a public place. Watch people’s behavior, appearance, speech. Write down character adjectives that come to mind. Write down specific details that led you to those conclusions.

I couldn’t remember where the exercise came from so I did a quick internet search and, sure enough, it’s paraphrased from Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute. Once upon a time I thought it was worth remembering, and then I forgot about it–and Clark’s great writing tips. Thank goodness for found scraps of paper!

What scribbled treasures do you have scattered around your workspace?

2 Responses to Scraps

  1. Tonya December 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Goodness, I’d love to have the time to go through my writing notes in numerous notebooks I’ve used over the years. I’m sure there are a lot of good ideas in there. I love sitting in Panera Bread, watching people, listening to their conversations.

  2. Mike March 14, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    I found you site as a ‘showcase’ site for the Woo theme you’re using. Very nice site, I might add!

    And funny I came across this post…as I was pulling open an old file cabinet drawer over the weekend, my eye caught the title on an old manila folder titled ‘Writing Samples’. I didn’t have time to dig through all the papers. But…I will MAKE some time and see what I wrote many years ago. It’s fun to look through old stuff. I just hope that my writing skills have improved since then!


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