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I’ve been sitting staring at the computer for a few minutes, the blank template staring back at me daring me to write something. I had no idea what to write, until I looked to my left and saw the dishes stacked in and next to the sink. It’s amazing what can motivate you to put words down. It’s also amazing how easily that thing that you don’t want to do so you write leaps up at you and slaps you in the face. Let me tell you, being slapped in the face by a dirty plate can hurt, even if it is metaphorical.
But I’m not just a writer. I’m also a mother and wife and I can’t ignore those dishes, the mussed up bed, and the magically-transported-to-another-room couch cushions for long. (Magic, thy name is Little Man.)
Why, you may ask, I am writing this if there is cleaning to do?
Because I think I have a system that might help those struggling mother/writers out there.
As soon as I wrote that last sentence, I washed some dishes and put some more in to soak. I then cleaned off the table. Next, I cleared the clutter off the deep freeze which is used more as a table than keeping food frozen. When all that was done I sat down at the computer and checked out a couple of posts and articles to add to the blog round-up I do on Thursdays.
Do you see what I did there? I set myself up to be able to get what I can done in the time I have. Dishes take time to soak. Floors take time to dry after a good mopping. Laundry takes a while to get clean and dry. Sweeping the floor doesn’t take very long. Vacuuming doesn’t take very long. Dusting doesn’t either. And so when you’ve done a bit of cleaning, you can then sit down and do a bit of writing.
Not too much though! There’s still stuff to do.
Little Man won’t clean his room by himself. He will help me when I do it, making it a game of Who Does More? and That’s My Toy! Those Magically Disappearing Cushions disappeared again, and I need my handy-vac for the trail of cheese ball crumbs left on the floor I just vacuumed.
I’m not saying that you have to get everything done in a day, or to try to get everything done in a day. I’m saying, take your time, and go ahead and write for a few minutes if you want. Do this process two to three times a week and your house will be clean. Take a day off of writing once a month and deep clean (washing walls, shampooing carpets, etc) and your house will be immaculate. In the between days, all that’s left is throwing trash away and a bit of picking up after the kids.
It’s now the end of the day. My kids are in bed, Hubs is playing Stupid Zombies, and I have all the time I want to write. Yes, this blog post is going up late, and yes, this is the only writing I’ve written (so far) today. But – and this is the main point – it’s not an every day thing and my house still stays clean.* Not to mention the fact that I can stay up as late as I want to do more writing on my wips, blog posts for later, or even short stories/flash fiction. The possibilities are endless and I feel better knowing I got house work done AND wrote during the day.
What about you? How do you do your cleaning and get your writing done?
*I didn’t mean for that to rhyme, but I’m not complaining, lol=)
Also, every time you see a – between paragraphs, that’s when I walked away from the computer and cleaned. The last one was the longest as the post school to evening time is my busiest (checking school work, cooking supper, getting the kids baths and in bed, etc)