Procrastination tip: Clean All The Things. Fret that All The Things won’t stay clean.
I live with someone who cannot write unless the house is clean, whereas I’m exactly the opposite. I cannot imagine leaving my heroine in mortal peril long enough to do the dishes. My opposite seemingly can hear a crumb drop in another room and mentally dash for the dustpan, mid-sentence. His mood is ruined, his train of thought derailed.
I cannot fathom how his characters survive. He probably wonders why he hasn’t deleted me yet.
Somehow or other, we manage to co-exist. My manuscripts are longer than his, but his prose is cleaner too. We are like the Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar of writers: I hoard words and stash them in strange files. He is forever searching for the right word, and sighs in frustration because I can’t help him. I don’t remember where I put them all.
I scribble. He edits. I chew my lip when I think my passages have too many adjectives. He grumbles when the hallways are cluttered. Perhaps it isn’t so ironic that he’ll beat me into print. A book he edited goes to press on Tuesday: mine won’t be published until Spring 2015.
I think this means I should probably go do the dishes — right after this next scene …