When I was working full-time, I used to squeeze in some writing whenever I could. In the spare 10 minutes I had before having to back the car out of the garage, ready to go to work. In-between dinner preparations, waiting for the meat to brown or the sauce to thicken. In that half-an-hour after I finished watching my favourite TV programs to before getting ready to sleep.
As weekend rolled in, sometimes, I would plonk myself on the couch from the moment I woke up to when tiredness overtook me some 12 hours later. I would manually write and transcribe 7-8 pages per day, stopping only for necessities such as eating, drinking, and releasing tension on my cramp muscles. Housework was a momentarily forgotten concept, cooking was a responsibility relinquished solely to my husband, and socialising was a pastime I was more than happy to momentarily forego.
One of the major factor basing my decision to scale back to part-time work was so that I could dedicate more time to my writing. My aim was that, instead of writing all weekend and half-ignoring my dear husband, I could do the bulk of this on my days off, whilst my husband is at work. My vision was that, by doing so, it will give us more free time on the weekend to do the things we enjoy together, as well as enjoying each other’s company.
Three-quarter of the year gone, and I found myself dedicating my extra times on anything other than writing. I’ve become more and more dedicated to completing household chores. Having those extra time on my hands, I have also developed an overly critical eye and perverse repulsion over the dust gathering on the surfaces of my coffee and dining tables. I viewed dirt and grime build-up on the carpet and tiled floor as something equivalent to cockroaches and spiders that need to be killed off ASAP.
More and more, I’ve channeled my ‘inner Martha Stewart’. Come Thursday night/Friday morning, I would consult my full shelf of cookbooks (or even the internet). Meal plans were made and I would happily cook and bake, sometimes making enough meals and snacks for my husband and I to last the week to come.
To a degree, this change of attitude has been a long time coming. No, I suspect no one greets housework with that much enthusiasm, no matter how dedicated you are on being a housewife. And to this day, there are still things I really loathe, and therefore procrastinate to no end to doing, like weeding the garden. But, having spent years loathing the sight of dust to the point that I wanted nothing to do with it, having sent numerous murderous glances to wiping cloths and dust brushes, wishing fervently that someone else would do it or that the dust would just miraculously disappear (the way it has somehow ‘miraculously’ appeared and settled on every surface of the furniture), the change of perspective in regards to dust is somewhat refreshing.
I am yet to find that balance between doing housework and dedicating more time to writing. I tend not to do things by halves, so it’s been plunging into ‘having clean house more than once a month’ with both feet rather than one. I need to learn to only do that with one foot, so that the other can dabble on my other, equally as important goal; to finish editing Peeling Layers so that I can take the next step in trying to get this published.
In short, this picture really sums up the state of mind I should adopt more often (just change the word ‘Reading’ to ‘Writing’).
How about you? What other interests/chores you are compelled to do that prevent you from spending that much-needed time nurturing your writing/other craft? Leave your comment below – would love to hear about your experiences.