I used to live on a busy street, a main thoroughfare for our town. I told my friends that if they drove by and my grass looked green and my garden was blooming, it meant I hadn’t been writing because I was maintaining my yard instead. Where I live now we hire a lawn company so I can’t use that excuse anymore to escape the Muse – that invisible, yet persistent being that inspires me to write.
Stocking up on excuses
The contents of my shopping cart might have given me away today. A spray bottle of frothy, foaming, bleaching bubbles and a two-sided scrub brush meant I meant to do some heavy-duty housework, instead of writing. Not that the bathrooms don’t need a deep cleaning once and again, but that manuscript I’m taking to a panel of agents and publishers in ten weeks is not going to edit itself.
Nor will this blog write itself. This blog. This month I have been challenged by two other creative spirits to produce four posts. And so I went for a run. And I organized my dresser drawers. And I rinsed all the plastic bottles in the recycling bin (who hasn’t done that?).
I read somewhere that JK Rowling said something to the effect that writers must covet their writing time; they must shut the world out and write. If she didn’t say that, she should have, because goodness knows her phantasmagorical success did not come magically. She should also probably say something like: Writers need to sit down and get down to the business of writing if they truly want writing to be their business. Writers would listen to her. I would. If she said that, I would do that.
Instead, between paragraphs, I am changing out loads of laundry, taking the dog for a walk and making a shopping list for everything I forgot to pick up this morning, including floor polish. These floors need to look good just in case my muse shows up to edit my manuscript and post a blog entry for me. I better go get that polish now before the next paragraph gets in my way.