I did it. Well at least I started to. I did not plan to finish it today, but I did spend all afternoon, 12:30 PM to 3:45 PM working at it. Does it show that I spent the time on it? Can you see a visible difference? Well sort of.
One of my basic faults, which is a real problem in prison, is my lifetime membership in the Pack Rat Association.
I started by tossing out, (actually passed on to another inmate) the last twelve or so issues of my PC magazine. Next to go was eight months of Electronic Musician and CFO magazines.
I'm really getting into the spirit of dumping stuff, I pulled the remaining New York Times Sunday Magazines and Week in Review sections that were still waiting my attention to save the important articles. Out it all went. Not even a minute wasted checking for articles.
It was also at this point that I decided to not save the Sunday crosswords. Honestly, I am trying to cut down on what I will actually be able to use as opposed to just hanging on to things.
Next it was time to attack the clipping files. As you may know, I had several subject files for news stories that I would collect as research for things to write about. Well the first to go was the overstuffed envelope of the stories about Social Security Reform. I did hold on to the envelope, but the couple inch thick stack of clippings is now on its way to the dump.
I was going to count the number of articles I had accumulated on what has now become a non-issue, (which was what I thought would happen anyhow) but did not want to take any chance of becoming sidetracked. I emptied out three or four other envelopes, the 9 x 12 Kraft type, and have decided to keep the following files:
1. Monday - Saturday Crossword Puzzles
2. Legal Articles: Includes various high profile cases and 'shocking' reports of prison conditions.
3. Education: Special reports on teachers, and schools.
4. The One Person File: This is the area I have continually threatened to write about but have not really started yet. The articles I have included are illustrative of how one individual has decided to make his or her mark on things, often going it alone with out any outside support, or just being willing to consistently go above and beyond.
5. I am keeping one general file, but am thinking of dumping that file at the end of each week. Any articles that have not been dealt with will be tossed.
I am hoping by drastically paring down the number of articles I am trying to keep track of, I will actually become more prolific and there will be less to overwhelm and distract me.