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Sep 08

Mischa Eliot

Some Advice is Just Plain Bad

I’m sure some of you will want to rant and rave at me. What I write here is my personal opinion. There is just some advice that I can’t fathom and refuse to follow. I’ll explain my reasons. Take a deep breath and relax.


1. You need to ignore everything except writing, including hunger.

Really? So, I should be barely functioning, shaking from lack of nutrition and sugar, writing? I happen to be one of those people who literally get very angry, very shaky, and pretty damn useless when I am hungry. If you haven’t heard the term “Hangry”, please fucking Google it now. My health and well-being are important to me, therefore I will eat when I am hungry. I will snack while I am writing. I will stop to make dinner for my family. 

2. You need to ignore cleaning house and laundry. Make other family members pick up the slack. 

Wow. Yes, let me make my 20yo daughter stop doing her college homework to do my laundry. And make me dinner. And I’ll call her off of work so that she can clean the house on top of that, too. Sorry, not happening. There are two people and one cat who live in my house and (unfortunately) to this day I have been unable to teach the cat to cook and clean (kind of difficult without opposable thumbs) and I wouldn’t want his fur in my food anyway. Cleaning is very important and I am not great at it as it is. If I have put on a load of dishes and wiped down the counters, I’m good. Sunday I cleaned out cupboards, switched where items are located, wiped down counters, tables, put stuff away, swept and mopped the kitchen and hall floors. 

3. To be a real writer, you need to quit your ‘day job’. 

Uhm, no. I like to eat. I have a metabolism that could be considered borderline psychopathic (it matches my brain chemistry) and I am always hungry. I also prefer eating healthy food over junk. I will buy my daughter quickie meals for lunch at work or a bag of pretzel sticks now and then, but mostly we prefer healthy food. And in order to be able to *almost* afford healthy food, that means we both have to work. I also like both my daughter and I having cell phones. I don’t have cable, but I do have Netflix and Hulu Plus which do get me into trouble when something new gets added. 

The truth is that in order to be a ‘real’ writer, you need to write. You don’t even have to publish your writing if you don’t want to do so. This is advice I tell myself every single day. I have to write. I go through a series of questions. “Have I written yet?” “How much did I write today?” “If I haven’t written a short story or worked on the novel, have I written a blog post?” And yes, there are days where I will open a short story I want to edit, then I’ll close it without doing anything to open the novel I’m working on. Then I’ll close it as well.  I might decide to read something instead, but lately that has been escaping my interest as well.

That usually means there is something I need to do in order to get back on track, which is why I spent Sunday cleaning. I also started going back to Planet Fitness (PF) again last week. I wanted to go on Saturday and didn’t, nor did I go on Sunday. I have to do some serious shopping today and that means I won’t be going today either. However, I will open up a short story or the novel and start working on it again.

Write every day. Something. Even if it’s just a detailed grocery list or an excuse note for a child’s school.

 

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