Cleaning House

My closets are a disaster area.

Literally. I’m surprised there’s no police tape surrounding the doors (which haven’t been able to be fully closed for weeks for the piles of clothes on the floor). And this makes me stop and look around. It’s tax season, and the W-2s are piled up on the printer just begging for someone to do something with them. The weather is finally starting to break which reminds me that the grass is going to grow again which reminds me that the tractor needs servicing. Buford has walked into another wall which tells me I’ve put off his doggie eye appointment too long. And the oil light is flashing in the car.

Yep. I’ve been neglecting the details. And, like I always do, I’ve over-committed myself.

It didn’t seem like too much commitment when I wasn’t writing regularly. But the words have started coming, and that means everything else has fallen to the wayside. I should have remembered this about myself. When I was working toward my MFA at Bowling Green State University, all I did was write – much to the detriment of my laundry and bills. Today, I’m looking for some balance. I mean, there are things that have to be dealt with – no matter how mundane. The oil has to be changed in the car, the dishes, eventually, have to be washed. Even the grass will have to be mowed. But I take some inspiration from something T.R. Hummer said in his interview last Friday when he said that he doesn’t really have a writing process – that he’s always writing. And I find that even the words need space. You can only push them so far, and then they insist that you walk away and mop the floors. Mopping floors is writing too.

So this week, I’m mopping floors. I’m doing laundry, filing taxes, bathing the dog. I’m putting my house in order, and – surprise of all surprises – my head is filling up with words. This writing process thing is complicated. I’m interested in how you do it. How do you manage life and writing? What’s your secret??

4 thoughts on “Cleaning House

  1. Ironically, when I can’t find the words for one project, I tend to start another. By getting the thoughts and words to continue flowing, I end up thinking about all of the characters I am amassing in one big pool of usefulness. If I’m struggling with how my conflict isn’t really resolving in one place, I can go to another and vent my frustrations and “have the conversations” that I need to have to work out the struggles and then I can go back to the original project with a clear mind about where I’m going.

    I also like to draw and paint. Visuals have always always helped me. But you knew that!

    • Yes, yes….it’s the drawing and painting – the non writing writing that I’m talking about. It’s the writing that takes place behind the activity, the “other” that is currently occupying our minds/bodies that I love (and am fascinated by and curious about). It’s always interesting to hear how other people do it. Thanks for sharing 😉

  2. I take a walk — which happens to be my blog entry today (-; Another trick is that I make a fried-egg sandwich and read another writer’s blog like yours or Susan’s Pen and Pallette – which both inspired me to sit down and write (-;

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