Playtime is Messy
I like toys and colorful messes when I’m playing. When I need to concentrate, though, I often have to tidy up a bit so that I’m not itched by tippy clutter in the background. Similarly, I’ll make a list of pesky things I need to do and park them for late in the afternoon so phone calls or errands don’t chop up my writing time.
When I’m starting a new writing project, though, the mess is in my writing. I land in a world I can’t see clearly and start inventing the barnacles and snarls. With a general idea of the overall situation, I have to see what my characters will say and withhold, and all the while, I’m aware that I don’t really know these people well, that this particular scene will likely be cut, that the whole thing lacks glue and sense.
Test-running ideas is messy. It’s playtime. The tidying must wait.