But the skirting boards need cleaning!


I’ve been writing for a while now – nothing published yet, but a bit of interest, which is great. But I’m amazed that I’ve managed to write a pitch letter and synopsis, let alone the four manuscripts I’ve finished. Why, I hear you ask. Well, it’s simple really.

If I work at home, and the house is quiet (i.e. the husband and children are all out), I sit at my computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, and I see dirt. Not smutty, sexy, I could write about that sort of dirt. Real dirt. I might have cleaned the house the day before, and I notice the skirting boards. Dusty skirting boards.

Now I’m not house-proud. I don’t carry a duster around with me at all times. I can ignore dishes in the sink, carpets that need vacuuming, mirrors that need cleaning. But I see those skirting boards and they HAVE to be wiped NOW. It’s as if they’re shouting at me. So I wipe them. And the ones in the next room cry out, “What about us?” I wipe them too, cursing under my breath that my book is waiting to be written, my characters have something they want to say, but they need me as a medium to get it out. Finally, every skirting board in the house is sparkling clean – and it’s time to go and collect the kids.

If I write in the library, there are all those books to read, newspapers, magazines, kids story time to listen to (I never took my own children to that, and now feel terrible about it – what kind of mother am I?) So I go, guilt-driven, to the deli and buy something yummy for dinner or afternoon tea. Not a word has been written.

And now it’s school holidays. The house  is overrun with teenagers – mine and several other peoples’, and I love the noise and the energy, even the chaos. But I won’t get any writing done until term starts again, and then it’ll be time to clean those bloody  skirting boards again.


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