By Jeannie Watt
I am a kitchen table writer. There is an area in my home that I could make into an office—a nice quiet room, with a door I could shut and a desk I could write at—but I prefer to write at my kitchen table, thus my monthly PHS column, Confessions of a Kitchen Table Writer.
June Confession: My House is a Wreck.
Oh, yes. There are things that need put back in their places, laundry that needs washed, shelves that need dusted. I should be concerned, but actually it makes me feel good, because when my house is not a wreck, when it’s neat and well organized and the woodwork is gleaming…well, that spells trouble for me as an author. It means I’ve hit a wall in my story and I’m looking for something, anything, to avoid whatever corner I’ve written myself into. Housework is an excellent avoidance strategy. Who feels guilty doing housework? Not me.
As I mentioned in my May confession, often I sew when I’ve hit a wall. It helps my brain relax so I can unknot the problems I’m facing, but sometimes my husband notices I’m sewing instead of writing and mentions that perhaps I shouldn’t sew so much with a deadline roaring up on me--that perhaps I’m practicing avoidance rather than brain rejuvenation. An excellent point. I have yet, though, to hear him complain when I do housework when I’ve hit a wall.
I just turned in the line edits for my December Superromance, Crossing Nevada. There was a brief time while I was writing the first draft of that book when everything in the house sparkled because I could not get the hero and heroine to cooperate (I also ended up with a new dress to wear to work), but overall the writing went smoothly and the house suffered until I was done. Sometimes I would notice the growing heap of laundry in my utility room and feel a deep sense of satisfaction because the book was going so well.
Where, you might ask, is my husband during this writing-related home wreckage? In his basement lair working on photos. He cooks. I clean. It’s a deal we made a long time ago and good guy that he is, he doesn’t make noises when I fall down on my end of the bargain because I’m busy at my second job. He never fails to put food in front of me, so I know I’ve married the right man.
So there you are. My house will soon be tidy again—not because of a writing wall, but because I’m about to turn in my initial chapters for my next book and I always put my house back in order before embarking on the next phase of a writing project. Good thing, too, because I have a feeling this next book might just flow and I’ll once again ignore everything as I put the story down on paper.
Harlequin Superromance author Jeannie Watt lives in rural Nevada and writes fast-paced, character-driven stories set in the western United States. To find out more about Jeannie and her books, please visit her website.