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When Writing Meets Fighting

Spring Cleaning for Writers

  • March 27, 2016
  • Blog


Every spring I go through my clothes closets, sort through books, and read the expiration date of items in my kitchen cabinets and medicine chest. But I’ve come to realize that I need to spring clean with a writerly focus as well. And if you’re serious about writing, so should you.


What do you write with? Computer? Pen? Pencil? Take a good look at your supplies:

Is your computer paper old? Old paper can become soft and jam your printer. (You can repurpose old computer paper into shopping lists or message paper by the phone.)

Are you current with your supply of ink/toner?

Do your pens have ink in them? (Don’t laugh—I once picked up a pen sitting in a cup and it didn’t work. I tried every single pen in that cup and they were all dead.)

It’s no use being ready to write if you’ve run out of toner for your printer or your favorite pen just croaked. And please believe me—that pen will not suddenly begin working again. Replace it and move on.

Are the pencils sharpened? How many are stubs that you keep just in case you run out of full-sized pencils? (Get rid of them, you’re never going to use them.)

Do you have a paper shredder? Do you have paper lubricating sheets (designed for that purpose) to keep it well maintained?

And those pesky paper clips that never seem to be around when you need one? They come in boxes of 100 and are relatively inexpensive. Don’t waste your time searching—buy another box.


Where do you write? Is the area distracting you with clutter or cookie crumbs? Well then, you know what you need to do. Get those cleaning rags out. Put away the stuff that’s annoying.

Visual clutter is mental clutter.


Are there any steps you take for your writerly spring cleaning? I’d love to hear what you do.


  • jan • March 28, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    My writerly spring cleaning generally consists of cleaning the files on my computer! My hard drive is a mess!

    • J. M. Levinton • March 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Ohhh, that’s a completely separate thing for me that one day, some day, I’ll tackle (hopefully). Good luck!

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