Friday, January 07, 2011

How Many Household Chores Does it Take to Make an Article? - Brandon

The hardest part of writing is doing the dishes. Not just the dishes but all the humdrum duties required to keep the lights on in my life. I try to follow Marjorie Holmes' advice to writers in her book, Writing From the Heart. Holmes, a columnist for the Washtington Evening Star and author of the best seller, Two From Galilee, learned to turn mindless tasks like vacuuming into great writing. As she swept and polished ideas, phrases and dialogue formed in her mind. When her home was clean and in order, she sat at her typewriter and let chapters and columns flow onto paper.

It's easy to let my thoughts wander as I scrub pots and pans. Sentences that refused to come together in the quiet of my den click into place at the kitchen sink. An idea for a new article pops into my brain. An outline forms. I hurry from room to room, fluff pillows, scrub sinks, throw laundry in the washer, anxious to reach my laptop.

When I finally sit on my retro green leather office chair with squeaky wheels, the words don't always flow onto my computer screen the way they did for Holmes. The sentence that sounded brilliant at the kitchen sink sometimes loses its shine.

Still, all is not lost. A good beginning, a solid paragraph or two. Another day, more chores, an updated outline and soon (or not so soon) a shiny new article will develop.


Peter Black said...

"... A good beginning, a solid paragraph or two.... and soon ... a shiny new article will develop."
And Rose, it certainly did -- and a good one too!
A nice smooth flow, despite interference from your squeaky wheels. :)

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

thanks Peter - the picture of a writer seems to be someone locked in a room without tv, telephone, a servant delivering meals, etc. But the quiet life is a dream for most of us.

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