A Novel Idea

My muse hates housework

Posted on: July 9, 2010

Warning: mild sexual reference.

I don’t want to pick a fight with the woman dubbed ‘Humanist of the Year’ (2007), but I have to disagree with her on one topic: housework.

Joyce Carol Oates on the compatibility of writing and other tasks including housework: 

“If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space.”

Me on the compatibility of writing and other activities: 

“Is it appropriate to pick the lint out of your partner’s belly button while having sex? No. Great sex like great writing requires focus. Make sure the housework is in another room.”

How do you stay focused (on writing)?

I consider myself a clean person living in a hygenic but messy apartment. I must admit that since I started writing full time, the house is dirtier than before. I am stubbornly refusing to let housework encroach upon my writing time. I didn’t bring dishes or washing or scrubbing to the office – why should I change that attitude just because I’m home more often?

I like to think that I rarely nag Connor to do anything (let alone housework), but I do think I’m the driving force in getting the house clean. Except anything sink related.

Connor is a clean-up-immediately-after-dinner kind of person. I was more a morning after person (rinsed the night before of course). Or at least after my food has settled.

I’ve since come around to his way of thinking – it’s nice not to face a mountain of washing each morning.

Something strange has happened lately though. Despite the dishes getting done after dinner, there’s still a pile in the morning.

We don’t have a lot of space in our kitchen (about enough to swing a keyring).

I’ve been eating at home more often (thereby making more mess) and in this space we can’t keep up.

I have had to modify my HOUSEWORK FREE TIME ZONE to include a quick wash-up.

In general:

Don’t let housework invade your creative workspace!

Picture courtesy of http://www.whateverworks.com/itemdy00.asp?c=&T1=K7046&GEN1=New+This+Season&SKW=+KC075&PageNo=1#top

Has your writing made you more or less house proud?

Write well. Write often.


(C) Copyright of the author. 2010.

1 Response to "My muse hates housework"

I know they say women can multitask, but I cannot. Before I became a writer, I used to be a ‘neat freak’ – Not any longer…I’m fortunate to live in a very tiny place but it is now a messy cluttered little place though I do devote 1 hour a week to clean up.

Comments are closed.

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  • Violet: Thanks Alannah :) Apologies for not replying sooner: I'm finally catching my breath and the year is almost over!
  • Alannah Murphy: I remember your first post, way back when I had my old Here Be Dragons blog, and I am glad you are still writing. We all find out, sooner or later, ho
  • Violet: Good to hear that Aaron. Good Luck with your work.
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