Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No Newbery for Mr. Clean

Barb’s Hygiene Hypothesis:

Household cleanliness is inversely proportional 
to daily word production.

Whenever I am procrastinating on a writing project, I tend to clean. I mean really go at it — as in, there are times when my kitchen island would be a fine spot for minor surgical procedures. So, if you know I’m working on a project and don’t want to pay those exorbitant hospital fees, have your physician give me a call.

Okay, maybe my hypothesis only holds true for me, but…

I once witnessed a neighbor polishing her mailbox until it became a blinding road hazard. Let me add that we live on a dead-end street 10 miles from the nearest town.

I never asked the burning why, but I have yet to see her name in print.

So there.

Well, the other day I was Googling home cleaning tips (yeah, I’m working on a novel), when I stumbled upon this gem 

“Pick any corner and work your way out.”

And I thought, wait a minute…

That’s not a cleaning tip — that’s a writing tip!

After all, the best way to get started on a writing project is to pick a 
corner — that wee wedge of an idea — and GO!

That corner may seem insignificant at first. In fact, it may seem like nothing at all, but it’s actually a big SOMETHING — a GREAT place to start.

And all GREAT writers know this.

J.R.R. Tolkien was once grading exams, when midway through the stack he came upon a blank sheet. He wrote down the first thing that popped into his head — “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” What the heck is a hobbit? he thought. But he had his corner.

We all know what happened next.

So today when I hear the sweet siren call of tile grout, wainscoting, or even… my mailbox, I’ll head for that corner and work…

No, fight, my way out.

PROMPT: In this corner is the super heavyweight champion of the world — YOUR great idea! Start there. Those filthy refrigerator coils can wait another day.

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