Order Out of Chaos

As I dumped the books off yet another bookshelf and pulled the clothes out of yet another closet, I looked at the total chaos all around me and wanted to give up.

I’ll never get this done in time. It’s such an utter mess.

A day later, small glimpses of order emerged. One room done. Then another. Hope!

I smiled as I realized I was living out yet another metaphor for the writing process — in fact,  this was precisely what Anne Lamott intended when she wrote about the sh**ty first draft.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a sh**ty first draft.” —  Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

Throw it all out there on the page. Dump out all the drawers. Don’t worry about making a mess or doing it perfectly, or stressing over getting to the finish line.

Free yourself to create chaos. That’s the hardest step. Trust the process and the order will emerge.

Author: suzettemullenharrel

I write memoir, and I coach students through the college and graduate school admissions essay writing process.

One thought on “Order Out of Chaos”

  1. You inspire me and I look forward to our time together.  However, I need to reschedule since I am babysitting Maddy Thursday and coming back to Mtk on Friday afternoon.  Give me some options 🙂



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