Thursday, March 24, 2011

Change: Love it or Hate it?

I have a confession to make: I like change.  Actually I need it.  If I don't get it, I can feel the walls around me shrinking and confining me, binding my arms and legs so I can't get out no matter how much I scream.  It's very similar to claustrophobia.  Which I have. (Let me clarify: I like what some would call 'cosmetic' changes. Huge, mega life altering changes? Not so much.)

If you haven't been keeping track, I've changed the layout of my blog like 3 times since starting it in September.  I've changed my picture like, 5 times. (although all this may be due to my chronic wishy-washiness)

The feeling comes on about once a year, and usually I would satisfy this need by moving to a new rental house.  Of course there is always a reason: no more super sweet discount for working in the rental office, bad location, can't afford rent, not enough space, someone is buying our duplex and kicking us out, and finally, buying a house. (and, by-the-by, all of that happened to us)

Since we bought a house, I can't move anymore.

So I buy new furniture.  Redo the bathroom (okay, that was because our pipes burst).  Install new storm windows.  Buy a new car.  Now we are making plans to put up a privacy fence.  Then it'll be bedroom furniture.  Then, switching Little Monster's room around.  Replace the old shed. You get the idea.


Hubsters knows when to duck for cover around Spring because that's when I get the itch.  As soon as he comes up for air I snatch him up:

Me: So....here's what I'm thinking....
Hubs: (crouched in the corner rocking back and forth whispering) please don't make me paint the trim, please don't make me paint the trim...

Anyway, this need seeps into my work.  I was getting my ms ready to send to my crit group, and last minute I'm frantically making little changes here and there.  I couldn't help it!  My fingers itched to delete a little here, backspace a little there, add a line here, change some dialogue there.  I wonder if it will ever look perfect to me?  Will I always need to change it like I do my house?  When it's published am I going to go crazy thinking, "Gawd, if I just changed that ONE line!!"? (but honestly it's small changes...I think when it comes down to changing major chunks of my ms, I'll cry and protest for days)

I'm really hoping I can satisfy my little change addiction by just doing things around the house.  That's harmless, right?


Ooh that reminds me...hey Hon, I think it's time to redo the kitchen.

Tell me, how are you with change?  Do you take in stride, seek it out, or resist it with all your might?

21 comments:

Colene Murphy said...

Hahaha! How funny. I'm so that way with my MS, though. Can't help but tweek it every single time whether it needs it or not in an area! I don't think too many writers are ever completely satisfied with their work, though, so it's all normal! Hope you can get your alteration fix painlessly!

Michael Di Gesu said...

I would be bankrupt, if i did all of what you did!

My kitchen remodel killed me a few years ago. OUTRAGEOUS cost. Right before the holidays I had re-plasterd the walls and repainted. NOW I'm done because I can't afford anything else right now.

I would LOVE new living room furniture, but that will have to wait.

I loved it when I moved every few years. Like you, I get bored with my space. But I also change things around inside with different pillows or floral arrangements.... I'm and interior designer. So it usually doesn't take much.

I change my ms' too. SO I think we all have that "itch" inside us. I must be a writing thing...lol

D U Okonkwo said...

I like change, too, and so funny that you mentioned teh redesigns of your blog! I've changed mine a few times since starting last year, too.

It's like anything creative, isn't it, sitting still can't work for long.

NiaRaie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NiaRaie said...

I am totally with you. I love change and I always get the itch to move after being in a place 1-3 yrs. And just like you, when I can't move, I just redecorate. Glad to know I'm not the only one! And I've heard authors say the MS has to be yanked from their hands by editors, because you can always find something to fix. You'll just have to take a deep breath and hit send!

Madeline Bartos said...

I'm not up so much for change as I am for creating new habits.

I think you almost have to reach a point were you realize your work is perfect, or else a lot of people wouldn't be published. They'd just keep changing things.

mom said...

Love the David Bowie reference! Could your love of change have anything to do with moving a number of times in three different states as a kid? I like it too.

N. R. Williams said...

There's no money for changes on the outside, so I change the appearance of my blog. It was winter, now it's spring. Sometimes I move the side bars around. The followers moved up and then down, so on and so forth.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Michelle Merrill said...

I'd say I like change but it's not a need thing on a regular basis. Although, it is so refreshing when we rearrange the furniture in a room. Hmm, it's about time for something to get a new spot in my house. Thanks for the post!

Jennie Bailey said...

I go through phases - settled in, then switch things up (although lately, that's been just rearranging the living room furniture - look out, I'm a wild woman!). I can be open to it. If I'm in the mood. Now, The Hubster? Not good with change at all.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I am sooo like you! We've only been living in this house for 2 1/2 years and already I've painted the kitchen 4 times and the living room 3 times and the master bedroom twice! My husband cringes whenever I come home with paint samples because he knows what's going to happen...

I think there's something about keeping things "fresh" that allows us to feel differently in our space. I think it's the mark of a creative person to constantly crave change... or at least that's what I tell myself.

(I am not OCD, I am not OCD, I am not OCD...)

erica and christy said...

I HATE change!! When our blog design changes, trust me, that's ALL christy!! We built our house 7 years ago and it's pretty much exactly the same as it was then (new furniture, but in all the same places as the old was).

I got about 20,000 words into my WIP when I realized I took a wrong turn and decided to delete an entire character. It's slow going and I think it's related to my fear/hatred of change! But I know once he's gone (all traces of him - that's the hardest part), I'll be able to get through to the end. So it's worth it!
erica

Melissa said...

I always want to switch stuff with my MS. When I send you guys a section. i always read it right after and am like DAMN should have changed X Y Z!!!!

I reorganize my room like every three months. Though I REALLY like the way it is now so I think I'll leave it....

You have so many projects/on your to do list for your house! Have fun with all that. Now I'm curious to see how stylish your house is!

I like change...I am notoriously fickle and get bored really easily. So I change things up all the time. It's actually one of the reasons I struggle with school....It's too routine. I can't work mon-fri jobs. Anything on a consistent schedule makes me go batshit crazy. It's an issue.

Melissa said...

I always want to switch stuff with my MS. When I send you guys a section. i always read it right after and am like DAMN should have changed X Y Z!!!!

I reorganize my room like every three months. Though I REALLY like the way it is now so I think I'll leave it....

You have so many projects/on your to do list for your house! Have fun with all that. Now I'm curious to see how stylish your house is!

I like change...I am notoriously fickle and get bored really easily. So I change things up all the time. It's actually one of the reasons I struggle with school....It's too routine. I can't work mon-fri jobs. Anything on a consistent schedule makes me go batshit crazy. It's an issue.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Oh I'm just like you LOL! I routinely move the furniture around in our house and my hubby and kids look at me like a loon:) I love the new look by the way!

David Powers King said...

Big fan of change, here.

Maybe not if my stories need a slight adjustment that would compromise the whole MS, but even then, I like change. We're house hunting yourselves and will more than likely have to do many of the things you are. Good luck with it all! :)

emy shin said...

I love changes when it's the small things -- but hesitate when it comes to bigger things. I like fiddling with my manuscript, but always have to keep older versions because, what if the older versions were better?

Meredith said...

I'm not the biggest fan of change, but I revise like crazy, too. There's always one word that could be stronger, one awkward phrasing to fix...

Charmaine Clancy said...

I'm a stubborn dig-my-heels-in rebel against change, I've been altering my blog too, but hating doing it. And yet, I feel the need to change genre each time I write.
So, maybe I'm somewhere between stubborn and fickle - stuckle :-)

Jenni Merritt said...

my husband and I have moved pretty much every year since we got married. This was the first time we had Christmas in the same apartment twice... and are now looking into a new apartment. So... change is good!

Oh! And... You got a blogging award! Snag it on my latest post :)

Kelly Dexter said...

I'm the same way! Without a few changes every now and again, I feel stifled. I'm constantly rearranging the furniture in my bedroom, and I have yet to find a set-up that feels right. The same thing applies to whatever manuscript I'm working on.