A Place for Everything…

Strategies for keeping the day job in its place while writing.

  •  Do not bother putting too many of the groceries away in a basement storeroom. Leave them in a corner in the kitchen. They are going to be needed as soon as they are dragged downstairs anyway.
  • Cook in large quantities. Leftovers in the frig means fewer cooking days. Besides the kids will get tired of leftovers and either buy their own food or cook.
  • Dusting does not take any longer after two weeks’ accumulation than one.
  • The dishes, like the poor, you always have with you. Do not let the dishes dictate, keep them in their place. Doing them once a day while you cook is an efficient and wise use of time.
  • Buy the proper amount of underwear. If your spouse has more than you, you’ll know when the laundry really needs to be done. How full the hamper is does not mean a thing. The clean underwear is the real barometer. (Reverse this if your spouse does the laundry.)
  • Decide what to make for dinner the night before. You won’t waste precious brain space when you could be thinking about your writing.
  •  Keep the chocolate close to where you write. Be honest with yourself. You are going to eat it anyway. Save steps and time.
  •  Keep money handy. When one of the kids is on his way out the door, hand him the cash and the grocery list. “As long as you’re going…”
  •  Do the household chores when you need a break from writing. It takes cleaning a toilet, scrubbing a floor, emptying the garbage, or surveying the aftermath of last night’s ball game to make you realize, “I’d rather be writing.”
  •  Refrain from stocking up on the kids’ favorite foods. They will devour it quickly and you will have to shop again the next day. The things they simply ‘like’ stay around longer. They will get their favorites on their own.
  •  Eating unshelled pistachio nuts while writing slows you down. Eating popcorn makes your keyboard greasy. Stick with hard candy or chocolate is always good.
  •  Edit for punctuation and grammar during televised ball games. You won’t get caught up in the content of your manuscript and if you do, the announcer’s excitement or roar of the crowd forces you away from it.
  •  Get a lap top. Leave the house, the kids, the phone, the frig, the internet, the candy stash …and everything in its place.


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