Sunday, August 12, 2012

setting priorities

Here's how I know I'm getting better at writing. (Note: I didn't say getting better at writing well, or writing successfully, or writing correctly--just writing.)

Dirty dishes languish in the sink. Dust bunnies--more like dust gorillas--have sought refuge in the corners of my house and under the furniture.

The unmistakable aroma of old onions and moldering coffee grounds fills the kitchen. The hamper is overflowing with dirty laundry. And I've been eating leftover leftovers for days.

I'm sitting on my new patio, in front of my laptop, on a heartachingly beautiful late summer afternoon, gazing off into the clear blue sky as if inspiration will rain down upon me with the next passing cloud.

And I'm writing about it.

So...I think I finally have my priorities right!


The last time I counted them, there were over seventy-five books about writing on my shelves.

How to write, why to write, when to write, where to write--all lined up to help me write better, which is a good thing, because I didn't have an MFA or a degree in journalism when I started writing and I don't have one now. I had to learn it all myself:

--Dirty dishes and laundry can wait; writing cannot.
--Anyone can haul the garbage out, but not everyone can write.
--Dust gorillas are exceptionally tame and they love it when you read to them.
--Properly refrigerated, food stays good for days.
--Life is too short (you fill in the blanks--to stay inside on a heartachingly beautiful day, to live with regret, to keep your story to yourself...).

What are your priorities in life? Where on your list does writing fit?
"We are traditionally rather proud of ourselves
for having slipped creative work in there
between the domestic chores and obligations.
I'm not so sure we deserve such big A-pluses for that."
--Toni Morrison--
By next week, I hope to be at the midpoint of my WIP, now that I have my priorities in order.


  1. My writing priorities fly out the window during the summer. (Not even C-pluses for me.) But I am looking forward to getting back to work very soon...and growing some dust gorillas of my own!

  2. Jenny--Dust gorillas are a writer's best friend!

  3. I've learned to let a lot of housework go. With my youngest heading off to college this fall, I'll have no more excuses not to use my evenings for writing.

  4. Keep at it. You can do it! And so can I.

    Wrote By Rote

  5. Susan--I hope we'll see you at our critique group, 4th Wed. of the month.

    Arlee--Thanks. I'm paddling up stream as fast as I can.