The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wash on Gentle and Hang this Post to Dry

By Andrew Tibbetts

These days I have three jobs, plus I’m dating. This leaves me very little time to write. And since I write slowly- or, more to the point, rewrite interminably- this bodes poorly for my already sparse output. At the same time, I made a 2007 New Year’s resolution to submit some fiction to some print publication each month. Previously I’d be lucky to submit two pieces in a year. But I’m managing. How? By taking my laptop to the laundry room.

I have 28 minutes after I’ve put my clothes in the washer. I rout through the thousands of pieces I’ve started and abandoned. I settle on one that 1) doesn’t seem too bad after all and 2) is also almost done. By then it’s time to toss the wet things into the dryers. In doing laundry I enjoy the redisbursing of the loads most, grouping by colour for the wash stage but now grouping by heaviness for the drying stage. I try to find three washers across from three dryers and I perform a kind of Tom Cruiseish twirl and toss. Once that’s settled I have 50 minutes to rewrite. The pressure is its own motivation.

I do this every weekend, so each month I have four potential submissions. It’s a little humbling to think how much I could have gotten written if I’d applied the same work ethic to the days when I had a significant chunk of time to write. But maybe those days will come again and I can haul this new found practicality out of the dank laundry room into the endless hours in cafes where I used to dawdle. I smell a novel. Faintly. Off in the future. But right now, the socks need matching up. Au Revoir.


Blogger Anne C. said...

When can we publicly celebrate your most recent acceptance? Soon, I hope.

Wed May 16, 10:46:00 am GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O-M-G, this is what I need to do.

The Maple Room

Wed May 16, 11:18:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Your own Beautiful Launderette. You are nothing if not resourceful. I look forward to your Laundry Diaries.

Wed May 16, 01:11:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

The Laundry Diaries! Oh man, that is too perfect.

Andrew, I can relate to the "Why can't I get this much done when I have all the time in the world?" Structured time is a wonderful thing.

Wed May 16, 03:14:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Doing your own writing laundry while you do the laundry. Brilliant!

Wed May 16, 06:31:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Best of luck sorting Andrew! SOunds like you have a great plan there.

Wed May 16, 07:46:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

It takes me 30 minutes just to settle myself into writing. It's a great process; your discipline is impressive.

Thu May 17, 10:13:00 am GMT-4  

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