Monday, March 29, 2010
I don't have a housekeeper. It's my mess, I should clean it up. Well, it's also the mess of two sons, a husband, and two dogs, but WE should clean it up. If you're a woman, you know that means you will clean it up. Man, I should have gambled and had a third child. Maybe she would have liked to help her mom around the house. Yeah. Those are some low odds, huh? Anyway. People think I don't have a job. Well, they know I do, but they act like I don't. I'm imminently interruptible. And dispatchable. After all, I don't report to work anywhere, even though I work all the time. I've actually got three full-time jobs, but who's counting? Well, me, but I don't count. So here's my key to a semblance of sanity: Chapter, Chore. This only works in the re-write process, but with a little discipline, it works well. If I sit at my desk too long I get antsy. If I'm away from my desk too long I get antsy. I should just face it. I'm constantly antsy. So I break it up. I rewrite a chapter, then force myself to stop, get up, and do a chore. I switch the laundry or load the dishes or mop the floor. Then I get back to my desk, rewrite another chapter, force myself to stop, get up, and do another chore. I do have to force myself to stop rewriting, too. It's easy to get into the flow of the story, and who likes chores? But sitting at the desk too long can make me stale, and a stale author makes for uninspired rewriting. I find that the combination of sitting at the desk and getting up to do something "active" makes the day productive and...enjoyable. My house gets cleaned, my book gets rewritten. I think it's a good approach no matter what your job is. If you've got a desk job and e-mail's driving you bonkers, reply to five, then do something else. Reply to five more, do something else. If you're a student facing homework and chores, do a subject, do a chore. It keeps the boredom out of both. (And it would shock and amaze your mother, and also make her happy.) So that's it for now. I'm feeling antsy, which means I've been at this desk plenty long enough. Time to do some dishes!