When my house is dirty, I go bonkers. This is my workspace. This is my play place. How am I supposed to write about assassins, angels, demons, and sarcastic vampires when there’s a spider web in the corner? A train set in the dryer? Toast crumbs ground into the carpet?
I’ve learned to intertwine cleaning and writing. They go hand in hand like pretty little lovers, and this serves to make my day more enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of a timer, something that I learned from www.Flylady.com. Before I sit down to write, however briefly, I set the timer for 15 minutes. During that 15 minutes, I clean like a demon. I can load the dishes and wipe down the counters in 15 minutes. I can quickly vacuum the house. (Living in a delightful shoebox certainly has its advantages!) Then I can sit down to write with a clear conscience. Chores before play, and writing is the most exquisite of play.
When I get stuck somewhere in my chapter, I start the timer again. I clean for 15 minutes while I think about where the story is going. I find that I think better while moving around than I do while sitting and staring into the universe, and I get the added bonus of getting things done. It’s amazing what you can do in 15 minutes. I can switch and fold the laundry. Pay bills. I can make my home pleasant again, which makes me happy. This happiness directly helps me write.