Laundry Meditations

This happens a lot at my house. Laundry gets out of control. It snowballs into a beast of tedious ferocity that I alone must conquer. (Why? Because too many members of my household have fallen victim to laundry’s henchman–the marauders of No-Clean-Underwear and Unmatched Socks. Too many have suffered punctuality’s defeat because precious minutes were wasted wading in basket after basket for the one important dinosaur-riding-a-bicycle-t-shirt. And after the entire household has suffered and cannot go on, I alone pick up the baton–which is not a short stick, but actually an unwieldy hamper stuffed with three loads of clean, dry clothes– and lift it high as I shout, “This far and no further! The line must be drawn here!” Time to make Cap’n P proud!)   

Like I said. Out of control.

When I fold laundry, I often spiral down youtube rabbit holes. I’ve done a lot of writing research with a basket of clean laundry and my phone. There are so many writers who are eager to share how to prepare for pitch sessions, how they got their agent, and how they built their platform. There are agents who explain how to query, what not to say, and what not to do. There are book bloggers who gush about the new releases from their favorite authors. The searches are endless…

And not always productive. Getting an agent does not an authority on writing make. A book deal does not guarantee successful book sales. Still, since I am hoping for both offering agents and book deals I continue to watch with a healthy asceticism [autocorrect FTW! I wrote skepticism, but I can’t take this genius away now!!!]  that would, again, make Captain Picard proud [when it comes to asceticism how could he not?!].

Today in my laundry and you tube bonanza I stumbled on some writing advice from Stephen King. I read Stephen’s memoir On Writing years ago, and that was helpful. But the snippet I heard today resonated with me. I shall paraphrase, but props to Stephen (even though I’m not a fan of his writing…or his genre(s)…or his ego). Stephen says the fun part is the writing. It’s sitting in the chair and discovering what different characters bring to the campfire. Writing has to be an escape. Writing has to be a joy. The process, the writers journey– that is the fun part. The finished book is an artifact of a good time.

While folding my laundry today, I understood once again that I write because I need to escape. I need immersion in the fantasy-land of control. I need happy endings. I need delicious food that I don’t have to sweat over in a hot kitchen and meals I can savor that leave no dirty dishes in my sink. I need the sparkle of new places and new loves. I need to play and have fun with my imaginary friends. I need to write.

Because stuff like this (and metaphorical stuff like this) happens:

How do you escape when the soda can explodes all over the freezer?



  • Ona June 29, 2017 Reply

    I hate laundry. And messes. And rejection. And being responsible. And BTW, Will knows at least a half dozen people who know SRK. Some of them well. You are only two degrees away.

    SRK didn’t do quite the best job delivering his talk, did he? I mean, I loved it, natch. But it was equal parts over-confident and insecure. He was clearly nervous and rushing. He’s a totally different (and better) man when he knows he’s with a friendly crowd. He’s also pretty smart, which didn’t quite come through in the TED talk. One of Will’s cinematographers has worked with him. Says SRK has a spooky photographic memory.

    • Amelia Hollingsworth June 29, 2017 Reply

      No way. Two degrees from SRK? The pressure is off. I guess I really can write for fun now.

      Audience is tough. It was one of the first eye-opening lessons I learned from the great Grace Burrowes. Light bulb on. Writers who dream of trad publishing DO have obligations to readers, and the first obligation that must be fulfilled is to figure out who those readers are. It’s basic stuff, but still it is something that never came up in my formal creative writing education… I gotta wonder if SRK misjudged his audience or just got a really unlucky crowd. I’m thinking more of the latter (because he IS a smart cookie). It sounded like it was 7AM when they filmed it.

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