“Sure,” I say to the massive pile of dishes infesting the kitchen sink, begging for attention, “I’ll wash you.” Maybe one coffee cup is mine. And who knows how long that purple fuzz has been rotting inside the unopened Tupperware containing some foreign specimen unfit for bare human hands? It is the plight of the mother, the roommate, the unacknowledged middle slave child, and also, the plight of the writer.
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
That Hemingway! Such an OCD genius! Why the need? Cleanliness provides structure. Things have places, and when disorderly, the ingredients for a panic attack stir. Anxiety. Stress. Discouragement. Focus shifts from “What benefit is it to my plot to turn my antagonist into a fire-breathing dragonfly” to “When the hell will I have time for THE TEN LOADS OF LAUNDRY CARPETING MY ONCE-WOODEN FLOORS? I don’t even have detergent!”
There’s a reason offices hire cleaning crews. Bosses would rather their precious employees worry about deadlines and innovative financial schemes, not pesky trash pick-up! But since your working space probably doubles as your home, both are your responsibility.
Our minds are already mad and messy enough without all the physical clutter.
So, I put away the dishes.
Spoons go with spoons, forks with forks. Similarly, it is confusing to mix metaphors.
Small plates stack on top of big plates. Your story must have a strong foundation. It might not fall over, but it will surely fall flat.
If the mug still has a brown ring of coffee on the inside, do not put it up. Cut excessive language. If you need inspiration, turn to Hemingway. Always.
If you do not know where the cookie pan goes, ask. Read books or blogs, consult other authors in or outside of your writing group. Knowledge is often attainable by simply paying attention.
Throw out scratched pans. This has no direct relation to writing, but it does cause cancer.