After waking in the morning you will make an important decision about the day ahead: are you going to work on your novel as that deadline is getting dangerously close or are you going to try to forget about both?
Simply reassure yourself that literary miracles (like hitting your deadline) can be achieved in twenty-four hours…once the family have gone to work and school, a wash has been put on, the dog has been walked, the cats have been fed, you’ve gone to the supermarket and browsed Facebook.
Just smile and mutter the magic phrase: once I sit down at my laptop…later, my novel will finish itself.
Feeling optimistic opt for a much-needed house clean.
Some of us writers need to be in the mood to start writing and we can wait hours for this special feeling to come to us. Before you start cleaning sit on the sofa and ask yourself repeatedly whether you feel like doing any housework. Deciding to clean doesn’t mean cleaning will take place. Making the decision to write doesn’t always mean writing will happen.
Writers struggle to let things go like a troublesome paragraph. This needs to be reflected in your cleaning routine. Spend ages scrubbing the hell out of one tiny object. Once finished make sure it never leaves your mind. Go back to check it half-hourly and if you have to, circle it for the rest of the day like a bird of prey.
A writer’s mind will wander. It is impossible to stay focused on one thing like working on a novel. Therefore during your cleaning routine make sure you stare out of the window at every opportunity and keep a constant eye on social media.
Regular tweeting is a vital part of a writer’s day. Make sure you are keeping your Twitter followers updated on your cleaning progress and include as many thought-provoking GIFs as you can.
Writers are never happy with their work so this needs to come through in your cleaning routine. Make sure you are muttering the following on loop while cleaning the toilet: this is good, this is a bit tricky, this is dire, this is the worst cleaning ever, I can’t do this, that’s it I quit, hang on – it might be okay, Oh God – this is actually brilliant.
When writers are not writing they feel guilty. You need to feed this into your house cleaning routine. Make sure when you are taking a coffee break, having a nap or just staring out of the living room, you are muttering under your breath, ‘I should be cleaning, I should be cleaning..’ x 100
Adopt a cleaning style to match your genre:
Thriller / Crime Fiction. Try to move in mysterious ways around the house. Make sure you are constantly looking over your shoulder when dusting and perhaps vanish into thin air at some point.
Science Fiction / Fantasy. You want to be adopting some out of the ordinary cleaning methods. Explain to loved ones your cleaning skills they are from another world.
Young Adult. Your cleaning skills need to be powerful and energetic. You might also want to be emotional whilst cleaning.
Romantic Fiction. Float around the house whilst caressing the furniture with a duster, bite your lip a lot and whisper sweet nothings to ornaments.
Happy house cleaning to all those writers out there enjoying a day of procrastination!
My debut novel will be here soon…