Greetings silent Lurkers. This one's for you.
Writing versus Reality
Sea monkeys are living in my bathtub. Or, at least, that’s what I’m telling my husband. They come in the night and commandeer the shower, creating an environment conducive to sea monkey survival. That’s why I haven’t cleaned it lately. It’s a little known fact that sea monkeys are on the endangered species list. If I cleaned the tub more often, I’d literally be wiping out one of the largest known colonies on the planet. How could I live with myself?
The dust rhinos, on the other hand, are beginning to bully my dogs. I may need to do some eradicating in that arena soon. What am I talking about? Reality. Yes, reality. Reality crashing in and taking away from my time to write.
I wasn’t raised to be a slovenly housekeeper. On the contrary. Being raised in the home of my grandmother, I can house clean with the best of them. I can shampoo rugs by hand, mix a powerful cleaning solution out of Borax, and fix an old Hoover faster than Macgyver. However, my ability to clean is not under scrutiny right now. The fact that I choose to sacrifice a supremely clean house for time to write is.
As an aspiring author, I’ve found I need to make trade offs with reality to fit in time to write. I’m sure I’m not alone. We all know it’s crucial to make time for the things important to us. In this case – writing. Unfortunately, no matter how sacred writing time is, reality continues to rear its ugly head and take bites out of any carefully laid schedule. Deftly gobbling up chunks of time set aside to write.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. Have to stop at the bank. Must do holiday shopping. Got to get the oil changed. Holy moly, what’s for dinner? Who used every square of toilet paper in the entire house?! Why didn’t you tell me before that you volunteered me for that? How come there’s no dishwashing detergent? What happened to all the towels? Tell me again why you need to be driven to the library right now? If I don’t do the laundry soon I’ll have to beat it back with a stick when it walks out of there of its own volition.
You get the idea. Reality one; writing zero.
My advice? Let go of something small before all your writing time is eaten away. Having time to write is the only way an aspiring author can make it to authordom. Don’t let the reality time-eaters win!
Here are a few guidelines I’ve created to get that writing score a little higher and to ease my conscience from all the housework I am currently dodging. Feel free to adapt it to whatever you might decide to let slip in the name of that elusive writing time.
1. Dust leaves a lovely patina on furniture, especially if left undisturbed.
2. Dust bunnies make excellent pets.
3. Dog hair is the dog’s contribution to decor.
4. Same thing goes for cats.
5. Dishwashing builds character in children.
So now you know my dirty little secret. My house is a bit messy, (NATALIE ALREADY KNEW THAT!) but I’m feverishly typing away in the small intervals of the day to change my status from aspiring to published. I refuse to let the small time-eating realities of everyday living erode what time I have to write. So fight the good fight and struggle on. And know that the sea monkeys are on your side.
Ava Quinn has been a member of RWA and Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers for the past year and is working towards becoming published. You can find out more about her and her writing at www.readavaquinn.com.
The towel comment was a nod to Vicki.
Two more days, citizens!