Here is one thing I’ve noticed: Editing/rewrites and housework just don’t mix. It’s near impossible to do both—one takes away from the other.
I’ve tried explaining this concept to my husband, but he doesn’t GET IT. He isn’t a writer. He’s a guy who just wants to live in a clean house.
Now, don’t get me wrong, for the most part, my home is rather a nice place to live. Dishes are done. Laundry folded and put away. The kitchen floor mopped and shiny. When I’m not in the midst of editing, we look like a healthy, normal family. Just like this (Minus the cake, of course, since I don't bake):
But when I’m in the throes of editing (a place that is hard and unkind and super lonely), our home starts to morph into something entirely different:
1) There is NO guarantee of three meals a day. Feel blessed to be given one, even if that one consists of frozen waffles. Be happy.
2) Chinete has a BEAUTIFUL line of paper products. You can hardly tell you’re eating on paper plates. Just look at how pretty the designs are? Fancy.
3) You have no clean underwear? Go borrow some from your brother. I know he’s a boy. Just do it.
4) The kids are drawing “Clean Me” in the layers of dust covering furniture, and instead of finding it disturbing, I write back, “In the time it took you to write ‘clean me’ you could have used the duster and helped your mother. Did you think of that?"
5) Little Caesar’s Pizza again? NOOOOOOOOO!
6) My kids love playing “King of the Laundry Pile.”
7) No one dares to walk barefoot in the house.
8) No one has seen the dog in like two days.
When I’m editing, everything else just shuts down. When I know a section of my manuscript isn’t exactly the way I want it, I can do NOTHING else until it is fixed. That’s my OCD coming into play. Now, add the extra pressure of trying to get the edits to your publisher in a timely fashion but not succeeding and yep, no wonder the house goes to pot.
And to make matters worse, I live with four mini hoarders! I’m the only sane one of the bunch (kinda scary, right?). My family “thinks” they’re helping out by shoving dishes under couches or under their beds. That’s the way they clean. I live with a teenage boy, a pre-teen boy, and an adorable little girl who loves to collect EVERYTHING—paper, rocks, leafs, hair ribbons, stuffed animals.
Then there is their father. (He hates it when I talk about him, so we will just leave it at that).
The good news, I’m almost done editing. I have one small scene to write (per a beta reader request) and then WAH-LA, I’m done. The zombie western romance will be emailed to the publisher, where I will then be working with one of their editors, and the process will start all over again. I’m excited! My family is like, “Oh, crap.”
All I know, is that I’ve watched the show HOARDERS before and so far, my house looks pretty dang good. Not perfect, but not condemnable either. Nothing like this:
And THAT, my friends, is A-Okay by me. Because I know in a day or two, things will be back to normal once again.
Until then, anyone want a slice of Little Caesar’s pizza on a paper plate?