September 20, 2011

Need more time to write?

Washing, cooking, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, dusting... need I say more?

Do you need more time to write?

The options are:
  • Use your lifestyle as ‘how to’ subject matter research, but with humour.
  • Accumulate short satirical pieces which eventually become a book.
  • Convince others to ‘share’ domestic jobs.
  • Write strategically & sleep less.
  • Be a millionaire who can afford to pay others! (not an option for most of us)

Well, Australian Author Hazel Edwards, is here to share her book,

Houseworking the UnsuperPerson's Guide to Sharing the Load.

For your chance to win a signed copy of Hazel's Book. Tell us, What your best tips are for juggling work, housework, family commitments, and the all important for writer's, make more time to write. Competition closes 1st October, 2011.

Apart from a subject to write about, time and energy management are the big challenges for creators. Usually they have multiple lives to juggle. And they do need to sleep occasionally.

When my children were very small, finding enough time to write was always a challenge because as a mature-aged student, I also had teaching jobs. And a husband. So I started collecting others’ hints on how to save time and yet keep the home functioning too.

Satire was easier for me to write because it was usually short. Partly as a personal survival skill, I started writing short funny magazine pieces about domestic time management and how to convince others in your household to do their share. Then I was asked to run an adult education workshop which became a regular whenever I needed it.  I also collected anecdotes about how others managed and passed on the best tips. I didn’t go as far as the woman who had twins to save time on childbirth!

I was NOT a good nor enthusiastic housekeeper so I was keen on learning the fastest way. ‘Maximum effect with minimum effort’ appealed. Teaching kids to cook was a long term strategy. Praise helped.
Miscellaneous hints included:
·         Isolating the problem e.g. getting teens to tidy bedrooms /change sheets…Solutions? Buy navy sheets/turn off power at master switch/agree on fortnightly deadline.
·          Uncluttering workspace
·         10 minute jobs with a timer
·         Trading jobs
·         Distinguishing between urgent and important
·         Having a family ‘blitz’ hour

Recently I revisited the ‘Houseworking;The UnsuperPerson’s Guide to Sharing the Load’ manual which had become a book in between. It hasn’t ‘dated’ much, except now I’d add ,’If someone of any age uses an Ipad or IPhone , they can operate a washing machine or an oven.’

Philosophically ‘domestic sharing’ has become more acceptable, but it was a ‘novel’ concept then  that those who ‘messed up’ the household should do their share of cleaning it up.

The recent census had no space for multiple tasking.
An academic talked on radio as if multi-tasking were a recent research discovery.
Writers and parents have done it for years.
Many writers and illustrators juggle domestic, business and creative roles, especially if they have a home office. Then for business reasons they need to have one ‘respectable’ public area, especially if they use a web-cam.

'Houseworking the UnsuperPerson's Guide to Sharing the Load' is a great gift for those domestically juggling or likely to become flatmates soon.

Uses humour to get others to do their domestic share.
Includes checklists like: Setting limits, Simplifying, Maximum Effect with Minimum Effort, and the difference between helping and sharing. What's reasonable to expect at certain ages,
AND…strategies for saying NO!

Extract from:

Super Woman's Ten Commandments

1.Thou shalt have a presentable partner, 2.3 children, an independent public career and shalt exercise in a colour co-ordinated leisure suit.
2. Thou shalt claim to despise housework and 'never do it' while secretly thou shalt race around dusting books with titles like 'Instant Housework'.Thou shalt know and accept that 50/50 sharing means 90/10 in their favour.
3. Thou shalt shop at 6 am markets, preserve thine own fruit and make wholemeal bread because thou art into self-sufficiency.
4.Thou shalt produce a cordon bleu meal for 20 people at 10 minutes notice on the day of a power strike…
5. Thou shalt write a novel in a morning.
10 Thou shalt cope.

Illustrations by Elizabeth Honey.

Plus if you haven’t yet bought a book online, this is easy. Follow the link below to have your own copy for $10 plus postage.


DimbutNice said...

Hi Renee

My tip...Menu least a week or so in advance; peruse your recipe books, choose and write the meal down on your calendar. Plus I only shop in bulk once a month. If it's not in the fridge / freezer then I plan something which I can cook from whatever is in the pantry. Exceptions are dinner parties but even they get planned in advance. This isn't a chore for me as I love reading recipe books as much as novels. My family 'dine' in a different country nearly every night and I am still able to devote time to EVERYTHING else. Sadly I can't 'housework plan' nearly as well :-) Dimity

Unknown said...

Hi Dimity,
Thanks for sharing your tips on how to save time on house hold chores and spend more time playing and writing.

Menu Planning is an excellent idea and it would solve the question, 'What are we having for dinner tonight?'
It's amazing how much time that can be wasted returning to the supermarket every second day. I think I'll try just once a week or fortnight. Once a month would be so good. No doubt you save money too, Dimity.

DimbutNice said...

Renee, you have no idea. I just need a goat and to plant more vegies now...we never seem to have enough milk in this house!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Dimity! I hope you enjoy your signed copy of Hazel Edwards, Houseworking UnsuperPerson's Guide to Sharing the Load.
It's on it's way!