All writers have their own process for writing. Some meditate, drink a specific type of tea, or require certain music in the background. Others choose to write in coffeeshops or in the park. Here, I will provide a small glimpse into my process this morning. I feel certain any aspiring writers out there will find it enlightening.
I sit down to write. The page is filled with words I’ve written days before, needing to be moved and shifted and sometimes straight out deleted. I work for approximately two minutes. I get up, stretch, and … where’s my coffee? I start the coffee maker and then realize I really should put some laundry in. That mountain of evidence that my family has lived exuberantly over the past few days is yelling out for my attention. I leave the coffee and fill the laundry basket with clothes. I remember the coffee and go back to it, adding some milk and a little too much sugar, before remembering that I’ve left the laundry upstairs in the basket.
I head up to retrieve the laundry, notice that I haven’t made the beds, and begin the process of straightening sheets and fluffing pillows. While in my daughter’s room, I trip over twelve stuffed animals are on the floor and fall onto her ballerina books which are spread out over her bed like a blanket. I rub my knee which smacked into the side rail of her bed, pick up the animals and restore the books to her shelf. I toss my son’s pajamas into the laundry basket, step on a painfully wayward Lego, swear indiscriminately, and then remember that I haven’t put away my jewelry from yesterday. In doing so I notice that my jewelry case is a disaster. It needs to be reorganized immediately. I am careful and precise and quite pleased with the results.
Once that task is complete, I take the laundry basket downstairs, start the load of laundry and sit back down at my desk. To write. I am there for approximately five minutes. I type three words and read twenty. Wait, where’s my COFFEE?! I’m up again to get my mug and take note of the dirty kitchen table. I decide that it must be cleaned now in readiness for a playdate that will happen in six hours. Once that’s done the kitchen sink rears its ugly head and demands to be cleared of this morning’s dishes. But first I need to empty the dishwasher from last night. Wait. What’s that on the floor under the dishwasher? Crumbs! Little bastards. I’m off for the vacuum and before you can say, “she’s not writing anything today”, the crumbs have been cleared not only from the kitchen, but also from the family room, front hall and living room. Voila! Now I can write. WHERE is my COFFEE?! Oh, in the pantry next to the Ritz crackers. Obviously. I pick up my now cold mug and put it in the microwave to re-heat.
I sit down at my desk and begin to write and then realize after a paragraph that it sounds all angst-y and fairly nauseating. Great, now I’m one of those writers. The ones that cause me to make a retching noise while I’m reading and consider burning the pages. Oh, wait. I only do that with my writing. I absolutely need to stand up and stretch. WHERE IS MY COFFEE?!?! The microwave is making little beeping noises and I realize it has been for some time. I retrieve my coffee and now the washer is beeping. Can someone make a different noise for all these appliances? Like a little song? I think I should write about that right now. I sit down at the computer then stand back up, remembering the laundry, which is still beeping. I set the coffee on the counter and head to the laundry room to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and put in another load.
When I come back I notice that the plant in the living room is dying. Again. It needs water and for the cat to stop treating it like an edible gift. I water the plant. The coffee is now cold again. I’m back to the microwave to re-heat the coffee. Feeling slightly frazzled, I decide I need to diffuse some oils for peace and relaxation. I can’t find the oil for peace and relaxation. I search the house, feeling very far from peace and relaxation. Then I reorganize my essential oils. Alphabetically. I find some lavender oil and begin to diffuse it. I suddenly feel very relaxed. The microwave beeps and I give it the finger. It occurs to me that I should sit down on the couch. It’s very soft. The dryer beeps. I give it the finger, too. I close my eyes for just the tiniest of minutes. The washer beeps, I mutter a curse word, and then I see it’s time to go pick up my daughter.