Like most writers, I have so much to do it's hard to carve out the time I need to sit in front of my keyboard and bang out a few paragraphs. Even when the kids aren't home and the phone isn't ringing, I have to the fight the silent battle between the blank page and the household chores. Do I work on my novel, or vacuum the living room? Do I work on my novel, or finish the dishes? Do I work on my novel, or attack the mounting pile of laundry?
Finally, I decided to attack the dilemma with a systematic, scientific approach. So I created the Novelist Worksheet, which allows me to compare and contrast housework and novel writing. Like a true scientist, I figured I needed a third task as a control—something that was clearly less appealing than either. Naturally, I picked self-disembowelment.
Here, submitted for your analysis, are the results:
(click image for larger view)
Kidding aside, what about you? Do pesky things like making a living, doing housework and taking care of kids get in the way of your writing? If so, how do you find the time and discipline to get those words written? Leave a comment below and you'll be automatically entered in a drawing for this very cool t-shirt.
THE OTHER LIFE, comes out this February from Putnam. She hopes you'll click here to read more about it, perhaps even pre-order. In any case, please sign up for her mailing list (there may be big news coming down the pike soon). Ellen can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.