Wednesday, May 30, 2012

To Clean or Not to Clean--What's a Writer to Do?

Alert: Yes, I know we must consider writing our work and give ourselves permission to do it. Still for the past days, I’ve struggled with that.
Now that it’s summer, I had great hope of accomplishing lots of writing. I can be home more, don’t have to get up and out at a certain time each day; I can get right to the keyboard and start on the story….
It’s not working out that way.
I’m the first to admit, I’m not very domesticated. I hate to clean, I hate to cook. But I like a clean house and decent food (although Lean Cuisine has some tasty stuff) and I can’t afford a maid.
OK, so knowing that about myself, I am totally surprised that, now I’m home consistently, I can find more things to do around the house than I ever thought possible. Good grief. I’ve even wanted to scrub floors (and actually did! Twice last week.)
Now when I sit down at the computer, visions keep popping into my mind of things that need doing around the house. Laundry—how does it pile up so fast? A load every morning—really? Dishes—that dishwasher gets fuller faster than ever. And where does all the dust come from?
I honestly don’t see how you all who have retired or who work from home do it. I realize that when we work outside the home, there is less time to do housework, so we relegate it to certain times of the week—usually the weekend.
It works then. Why doesn’t it work now? Now I feel guilty letting anything slide so I can write.
But even as I say that, I know it must be an excuse. Especially if a part of the story is giving me problems. So easy to pop up and say, “Better start a load of laundry” than to stay put and work it out. (Although I must admit, sometimes getting away from the keyboard seems to free-up my mind, and when I come back, the problem’s solved.)
So I guess I just have to impose a schedule for the rest of the summer—set specific time for housework and specific time to write. I’ll try.
Right now, though, I have to unload the dishwasher. Then I need to switch out the candles in the livingroom to something less heavy for the summer. After that, I really need to….
Does anyone else feel guilty for writing when housework is tapping its toe for attention?


  1. Unfortunately I've started to suffer from this same problem...Cooking, cleaning, running errands. For me, it means a lot more late nights at the keyboard - and a whole lot of coffee.

  2. Sadly, no - I leave housework for last. I have set times on the weekends that the kids and I do some chores, I throw in laundry first thing in the morning and at night when everyone's asleep. Other than cooking and clean up after, I treat writing like a job - I work all day and fit in the rest later! LOL (If you visited I'd have to hire a maid to make the house sparkling. But don't they say a little dirt is good for kids?)

  3. I only feel guilty if I'm not cooking for the hubby. If the house being dirty bothers him, he's more than welcome to do it, which he does, without complaining...unless he's hungry. Seriously...since I've started writing, my house has gone to hell in a handbasket, ask Trish, she'll tell ya! We try to keep the living room and dining room straight, and the kitchen in decent operating order. The's a sacrifice I'm willing to make...unless I'm motivated by guests coming over.