This is me. I have a very slight memory of this day, though I couldn't have been more than two or three. My mother tells me we were making cabbage burgers at the time. I am not at all surprised that I was a messy baker back then because I am still a messy baker (and cook) today.
I have had to clean cookie dough off of walls because I let the beaters out of the bowl and dough goes flying everywhere. More than once, I've called one of the pets into the kitchen - either the cat or the dog - and told them to eat the food I dropped on the floor while cooking. Flour doesn't normally stay in the measuring cup, and neither does just about any other dry ingredient.
The garbage disposal in the sink has saved me from making even worse messes. Peeling vegetables is easier now that I can just throw the peels down the sink (though I think I still manage to get some on the floor in the process) and I just put an egg shell in the sink instead of leaving a trail of egg white on the counters in its trip to the trash can.
I must say, though, that despite my messiness, I manage to create some tasty meals and baked goods. Thanks to Pinterest, I've been trying a lot of new recipes and while some have turned out so-so, others have been a rousing success - especially this chocolate chip cookie recipe.
But I'm not just messy in the kitchen.
Ask my mother about the stacks of paperwork and books and stuff in my bedroom as a kid. Apparently she couldn't take it for very long stretches of time as I would sometimes come home from school to find it all organized. I loved that.
Contrary to what you might think, however, I keep a pretty darn clean house. My living room is very organized. Everything is in its place, and that's just the way I like it.
However, my office is another matter...
I blame my father for this one, as my mom would often try and clean his office. She gave up, though, when he couldn't find paperwork after she cleaned, and thereafter she had to grit her teeth and leave it in all its messy glory.
(As an aside, I am starting to think I owe my mother an apology for her cleaning so much...)
Yesterday I spent the entire day at home. We'd already bought groceries for the weekend, and as my daughter is finished with summer softball, we had no practice to go to. I was quite excited to write all day.
But the mess had accumulated in my office. Bills, stacks of paperwork, research, wayward notes, and piles of books had become too much. So I got to work. I organized, tossed stuff, filed paperwork, put books away, and made the place presentable again.
Every time I clean, I vow I won't let it get this way again. It does anyway.
There is probably a lesson in here somewhere, but I've failed to learn it so many times that I think I'm a lost cause.
I have learned one thing about messiness in regards to my writing.
(Ah! you're thinking. She is going to tie this to writing!)
Yes. Yes I am.
My writing itself can be messy - words, phrases, descriptions, etc. - for the first draft.
But, the plot cannot.
The last novel I wrote began on a whim. I had the germ of an idea, so I sat down and began to write. I was blissfully unaware of what direction I was going and really didn't care. I would discover it as I went along. Unfortunately, what I discovered is that I am really good at making messes.
Granted, this was the first story I wrote where I didn't really have any sense of direction. Most of my other stories I've plotted out enough to know my beginning, middle, and end (though I still didn't have some very important elements worked out). But not this one.
Fixing that story cost me months of writing time. It was a huge, colossal mess. I resolved I wouldn't do this anymore with my novels, couldn't, in fact, if I wanted to make the best use of my time.
I realized that while I could be as messy as I wanted to with the pre-writing phase - and believe me, I tend to be all over the place in trying to figure everything out - I could not translate that messiness to the first draft. I needed certain things hammered out before I started. I implemented this new way of thinking for my next novel (thanks to this stellar book on plotting), and the actual writing process hasn't been nearly as messy this time around.
That is a good thing.
The moral of the story? Being messy in the kitchen is fine. It's even okay in the office for a short time.
But messiness in my plot? Nope. Can't do it. Does this make me a plotster vs a pantster? Probably. It's the method that works for me. I know it doesn't work for everyone, and that is the beauty of human nature.
I do find it fascinating, though, that I can be messy in some areas of my life - my office, my cooking, etc.- but not in others - my fastidious living room, the way I fold laundry, cups stacked just so in my cupboards, etc.
I am a study in contrasts.
And that's just the way I like it.