Friday, January 25, 2013

solving problems with fiction

We read books to escape. We love to find new worlds and characters that will take us away from our real lives and all the mundane details. But as writers, don't we also write to escape? I know I do. I step away from my tasks and become the narrator in my stories, hiding from those things I know absolutely have to get done around the house or elsewhere in my world. But recently, I tried a different angle.

There is one aspect of my life at the moment that is really nagging for my attention, and I nearly refuse to listen. When I do, it's in tiny increments and the results are negligent. It's extremely lazy and childish of me.

I am avoiding my housecleaning.

I do enough to get by, reaching for new dishes from the cupboards or scrubbing off one spoon from the sink, cleaning the cat box but not the bath tub, and all sorts of other disgusting corner-cutting methods. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I figure writing it down to share will move me to action. And I started this in the most engaging and creative way I could imagine-- I began writing a novel about a woman who starts a quirky housekeeping business in an act of revenge and/or spite toward an ex-boyfriend and their old landlady. It sounds like a wacky plot, I know. But I actually have a true-life story to get the ball rolling. Think King's Thinner for a wannabe domestic goddess.

I have yet to determine if this method will inspire me to actually accomplish the cleaning chores I have been neglecting. But any muse will do, for me. If nothing else, I will get a good novel out of the experience.

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