Knowing where everything goes

I like knowing where everything goes, where it belongs; ‘A place for everything, and everything in its place’ , is one of my mantras. ( I haven’t counted them.) Not knowing where things should go, bothers me. Especially when I’m in unfamiliar territory. It isn’t, I think, a question of being out of my comfort zone, but is rather more delicate than that. Is it about feeling secure in one’s environment? Or is that the comfort zone thing again? It’s on a par with knowing where the loos are, and where the safe exits are. Do please understand that I am not declaring myself to be a madly tidy person of the anally retentive variety – far from it! I happily inhabit the lived- in look – but I like things to look well, to look right,  like they belong there. If someone takes it upon themselves to rearrange my placement, I will most likely, feel rather irked. The irk is only undone upon the things being returned either to their original rightful place, or to a new, even better place.

The same can be said of writing, except that I don’t necessarily know where the right place is. Sometimes perhaps, things fall naturally, rightfully into place, as I’m writing them. But then, weeks or months later, when the time comes to open that particular file and look at it afresh, the doubt creeps in. Is that the right place for that paragraph? That event? That moment? Might it work better if I were to move it elsewhere, or tweak it, or rewrite it, or even delete it? Moving lumping great bits of furniture around is an easier job than editing, and redrafting (although my lumbar region would probably disagree). Editing is satisfying, but it is also at times deeply irksome. There have been times when I have been left doubting my sanity, my judgement, my taste, as a writer. I’m still doing it though.

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