Monday, February 20, 2012

Dirtyhousewrititis

Since the kids and I have two weeks off from school (gotta love those French vacations) - I'm spending the afternoon deep cleaning my house. Not my favorite thing- but it must be done.  So, in light of today's activities, I decided to post a rerun about a syndrome I like to call dirtyhousewrititis:


The most obvious sign my wip has taken priority over everything else?  My house gets dirty.

Really dirty.

House cleaning is already one of those things I force myself to do on a daily basis because…if I don’t do it, who the hell else will?  But I feel like it’s something I should get a gold star for because it takes monumental willpower on my part to do the same mundane tasks every day, over and over again, without running out the door screaming, hailing a taxi and taking off on the next train to anywhere-where-I-don’t-have-to-clean (not that I’ve actually thought about doing this...much). 

 Unfortunately- there are no gold stars (or gold anything for that matter) for mothers who clean up after everyone, which definitely dampers my enthusiasm.

I have kids.  So  I figure it’s kind of like when you keep rabbits or gerbils.  You gotta keep the crap outta their cage or they’ll get sick and stinky.  Despite this, their bedroom seems to take on a life of its own.  When I’m wrapped up in a writing project, I stick to the bare minimum- cooking meals, cleaning up afterwards; dishes, floor sweeping, tables & counter wiping, and laundry.   Not to mention the whole child feeding, cleaning and changing that restarts the dreaded process in motion.

Now that wip is marinating, it’s like I woke up from a writing-induced haze and realized ‘Holy Crap.  My house is ridiculous!’.  So yesterday was spent digging out the girl’s room, uncluttering bookshelves and bureaus, mopping the floors, cleaning sinks and toilets and catching up on loads of laundry.

I didn’t get a gold star.  But I did order take-out sushi, which is more than enough compensation for me.

What falls to the wayside when you’re wrapped up in a wip?

33 comments:

Vivi said...

Wow. Sounds exactly like my house. When I'm in full on writing mode, EVERYTHING fall to the wayside. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, grocery shopping (yes, we're having eggs and frozen waffles for dinner AGAIN!). I have total vacuum OCD, though, so at least the floor is always clean. :)

Connie Keller said...

Just so you know, I'm giving you an armload of gold stars.

When I'm writing, my house suffers too. When I can't cope any more, I yell "slave labor" and the minions (i.e., my kids) have to help clean/tidy the house. Of course, my kids are older so every Saturday they have chores, which keeps the house from getting too skanky.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I know what you mean about the house. It's a chore. And my daughter constantly has to major clean her room because she just leaves everything where she drops it. Wish we could wave a wand and get all the cleaning done.

Kyra Lennon said...

Lol, much the same as you - my house gets messy and dirty and then needs a major tidy which I hate!

Marta Szemik said...

I'm fortunate enough to have a hubby who is clean obsessed, so he does a lot of the house work when I can't.
But the laundry just kills me. I don't know how these kids manage to get through so many clothes???

Talli Roland said...

For me, the emails tend to pile up! I'd love to say the dishes do, but I get the stink eye from Mr TR if I let too many of my dirty coffee cups collect on my desk.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh, I don't even NEED a wip to let housecleaning fall by the wayside. Btw, I loved your kids/gerbil analogy. Hilarious!

Old Kitty said...

What fall on the wayside? My weight! The weight of my butt - falls over the side of the chair! LOL!

Take care
x

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yeah, that definitely happens to me, although I've been nested this past week. Trying to get the house as clean as possible before baby #3 comes, whenever that is gonna be - I'm due today!

Meredith said...

I'll give you a gold star! Cleaning definitely falls by the wayside when I'm writing. My apartment needs a deep clean like you wouldn't believe!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

And then it all starts over again tomorrow.

Have you ever observed that nobody notices if everything is clean and in place, but don't dust for a year or so, and people feel the need to comment.

jabblog said...

I empathise:-)

LTM said...

oh, god, I'm the SAME way. My house = dust bunny city when I'm writing. :D But so glad you're getting back in the saddle. And sushi... mmm... good reward. :o) <3 ((hugs))

Tonja said...

I haven't written much over the past week, and my house is sparkling. I even rearranged my kitchen cabinets. The normal explosion of toys is contained by little bins with labels. My house is definitely the thing that gives when my writing is going well. Great post.

Dawn Ius said...

Definitely house cleaning. And um, my husband complains he doesn't get enough attention. And uh, my stepdaughter says she misses my cooking...pretty much everything! LOL

Laura Marcella said...

Sending you some virtual gold glittery stars!! You deserve them, Katie!

DL Hammons said...

For me...blogging takes a hit if I'm knee deep in my manuscript. My wife won't let me scrimp on anything else...so reading and writing blogs suffer. :)

Lisa Shafer said...

I, too, tend to put off cleaning. I get laundry done because that's simple and only takes a few minutes. And stuff can hang on the lines for as long as it takes me to get to it later. But scrubbing sinks and mopping? Chasing dustbunnies? Ugh. I hate that stuff.

Matthew MacNish said...

Just wait till your kids are old enough to become minions. I have mine doing the laundry, the vacuuming, the dishes, just about everything around the house. All it costs is a few dollars a week in allowance.

Colene Murphy said...

Ha! Good luck with your cleaning! Hopefully you can just knock it out quickly and enjoy the rest of the break.

I try and spend a day a week doing something to clean up. Even if it's just one room or vacuuming or laundry, it makes me feel better just to make some effort. Even if the next week I have to clean the same room again instead of a new one...the idea has holes! I'll admit it...

Johanna Garth said...

Gold Stars for you in plentitude!

The one thing I budget for is a housekeeper (even though it feels ridiculously luxurious). This way I never feel guilty about dirty toilets and I don't have to scrub them either.

D.G. Hudson said...

Housecleaning is never fun, because it is a never-ending cycle. You clean it, and daily living dirties it up again. I read somewhere it's like stringing beads on a cord with no knots.

I just noticed looking at your 'about me' that you live in France (what area if you don't mind saying)? I'm just curious and envious. . .

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm a bit of a clean freak, so my house can't become too messy before I do something about it. (My wife and I share the responsibility.)

Tony Van Helsing said...

I usually clean the house once a week on Fridays, takes about two hours. Or my wife does it on Saturday if I on shift.

David P. King said...

I could sure use a vacation like that now. At least we get President's Day. It's been forever since I visited your blog last. Glad to have rediscovered you! :)

Nicole Mc said...

Uh, we all think of hailing that taxi. It's normal! lol (I do it daily!) Right now my house is in that condition. My poor husband tries to pick up the slack. He might forgive me someday if I actually sell a book. :)

Botanist said...

Hmmm...because writing is crammed into the tiny corner of my life left over after the day job, and the nearly-full-time job of husband to a heavily-involved Guide and Scout leader, I'm afraid it's writing that tends to suffer.

I also need a certain minimum level of tidiness (not necessarily the same as cleanliness) before I can even function, so I try to keep on top of certain chores before I can get on with writing.

Melodie Wright said...

We should get gold stars. Or at least a reality show called "The Really Conscientous Mother" to counteract "Hoarders" and "Beverly Hills Housewives". Cameras would follow us around on our cleaning rampages, zooming in on our irritated faces when we pick up the same sock for the sixth time that day.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

It sounds like you got a lot done, so you definitely deserve mucho gold stars! Cleaning is definitely something I neglect too, except for washing dishes. Recently, I finally came to my senses about the need to clean regularly, because I found a W-2 from one of my part-time jobs under a pile of papers on my messy desk; I forgot to include it when I originally filed my taxes. If I had cleaned earlier, I never would have missed that. Then I had to go through the trouble of amending my tax return. So tonight I spent about an hour cleaning. I didn't get it all done, but it was a good start and it made me feel better.

Jen Daiker said...

We need a 'writer service' someone that understands when writing takes priority they need to come in and get a hold of everything we've lacked. Laundry, the kids, dinner, the house... Wouldn't that just be lovely?

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I try to keep my house from descending into a chaotic mess by doing a little cleaning every day.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Laundry. Always laundry. When the huge basket is full, and there's a pile next to the huge basket that's as high as the huge basket, you can be sure my WiP has taken over. ;)

Medeia Sharif said...

I used to be lax on housekeeping, but now I make myself do a weekly cleaning (and small stuff on a daily basis).

When I'm wrapped up in a WIP I forget about entertainment--movies, DVR'ing things I want to watch, downloading music, and the like.

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