The State of Things at Home

For the past 2 weeks my kitchen table has looked like this.

our kitchen table

My family has had to eat their meals between first pages and old manuscripts of Little Paradise. At least there’s no lack of reading material. I don’t have a big office and you need a lot of table space at this stage of the game because first pages come in the large A3 format. But today is our monthly writers’ meeting and the cleanup begins.

Being an author, locked away like a hermit for most of the year, I don’t have many visitors, so it’s nice to be forced to do a bit of housework sometimes. I’m not a housework kind of person, maybe that’s why I’m an author. Or is it the other way around? If I worried too much about the state of things at home, I wouldn’t have time to write. When your work involves being locked inside your brain, you don’t see the mess around you anyway.

But no matter what things are like in the immediate vicinity, it is essential for authors to be highly organised on the inside. That’s why you don’t need the perfect office to write in. All you need is a quiet corner in your house. I wrote my first 2 novels in the corner of our small bedroom.

So my goal for the day before my writer friends come is to write 500 words of my new novel, then go through a few more 1st pages before I clean up the kitchen table.

Oh, and thank you, my lovely, wonderful family, Steve, Lei Lei and Ren, for being so tolerant of me and my passion.

6 thoughts on “The State of Things at Home

  1. Housework is grossly overrated, Gabrielle. Unlike a wonderful understanding family. Housework drives me nuts. It’s like a nagging partner when I write. But I’m getting better at ignoring it and bargaining my way around it. All the best for the new book.



  2. I totally relate to the ‘not being able to see the mess around me’ when I’m in writing mode. In fact the only time any serious housework gets done here (apart from ‘surface’ cleaning for health and safety reasons) is when we know people are coming to visit. And let’s face it – that dust you remove always comes back the next day, and has to be removed yet again …

    1. Talking about the relentness of dust I’m reminded of a Japanese movie called Woman of the Dunes where this woman, perhaps she was being punished, lived in a hole and every day she had to sweep up the sand that kept falling and put it in buckets which were hauled up on a long rope each evening. If she didn’t her ‘house’ would be buried. I’ll never forget that movie.

  3. I’m not a housework kind of person at all (I actually pay for a cleaner) Being as I work full-time, I make sure I have more quality time to persue my writing.
    I have a small writing nook in the corner of my loungeroom (my desk is a black lacquered bureau with mother of pearl geishas)
    I look forward to reading ‘Little Paradise’ and good luck with your new novel.

    1. How beautiful, Carol, the desk you work on sounds lovely. I also pay for a cleaner but find the house is clean up til the kids get home. Then it’s as if the cleaner hasn’t been at all.

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