Does JK Rowling do Housework?
The thought came to me while I was vacuuming the other day; does J K Rowling do housework? She must have done at one stage, before she became mega-famous and super-rich. A state of life many of us writers can only dream about.
Years ago, to be a full time writer was the height of my ambition. It would, surely be bliss, not to have to go to work every day, but to be able to sit and write the stories that whirled around in my head at the moment they made their presence felt, instead of making a hasty note or two and hoping there would be time after tea, when the kids were finally in bed and the next day’s preparation completed.
Now, I’m not so sure that sitting at the computer all day is such a good idea. This is where housework comes in. The writer Margaret Forster was famed for cleaning her own house and not delegating household chores. She never said, as far as I know, why, but I’m beginning to understand.
Doing housework frees the mind. Many of my best ideas come when I’m doing some practical day to day task. My sub-conscious gets to work and I often have to stop to run to the computer, or scribble something down on paper. These mundane jobs also give me time to reflect on the progress of a novel, or story, in way I simply don’t when sitting in front of a screen.
Housework also takes up time. This may seem counter-intuitive, but like many other writers I can find it hard to resist the temptation of social media and the internet. The less time I have, however, the more likely I am to get down to the writing. I will also concentrate more intensely, if my time is limited.
So I’m with Margaret Forster; a moderate amount housework is good, a useful tool for a writer.
As for J K, I suspect she has other people to clean and tidy her house. Perhaps they even deal with social media on her behalf. Who knows?