Monday, July 24, 2006

Sometimes You Just Need to Clean

I should have been writing yesterday. I know it. I am way too close to a deadline on THE PRICE. I don't know the exact day because I'm too freaked out about it to even look it up on the contract, I just know it's September so I'm just assuming Sept. 1 because after Sept. 1 I'm going to be way too involved with touring for THE HARROWING to get any decent writing done for the rest of that month anyway.

But instead of writing yesterday I took the whole day off to do something just for me.

I cleaned.

Seriously. I cleaned my house.

I like cleaning. I would rather be boiled in oil than have anything to do with cooking (wait... that came out wrong, somehow...). But cleaning is just somehow relaxing to me. I start in a haphazard and often violent frenzy but at some point I slow down and it all becomes meditative.

It's not always cleaning. Sometimes I have an attack of gardening.

I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm in this grotesquely sedentary profession. And I am not a good sitter. Being still is very, very challenging for me - even sitting through a normal-length meal. So with all this writing, the definition of which is "Ass in chair", I need to compensate by moving that same ass. If I don't dance regularly (and I mean, move till you drop, sweat till you bleed dancing, five times a week, minimum) I get agitated, move on to insufferable, and quickly start closing in on homicidal.

But my cleaning urge is more than just needing to move. It's about externalizing. It's a way of physicalizing my thought processes. It's about the metaphor: cleaning, polishing, straightening, sorting, rearranging, throwing things out - you see, I'm rewriting now and that's all what I need to be doing with my book, and it's just so much easier to wrestle with those issues physically. And somehow doing it physically helps me sort it out mentally. Really - it never fails.

So now my house is clean (er). My mail is sorted. My windows are clear. The closets are purged. The dust bunnies are gone. I feel good. The house feels good.

Now I can write again.

5 comments:

Tasha Alexander said...

Wanna come clean my house next? I'll cook for you...

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Hmmm, Tasha - if we did that and filmed it we might just be able to finance our writing careers...

Milady Insanity said...

Tasha's got the right idea.

I bake a mean chocolate cake too. With frosting and everything. I'll take pics if you need proof.

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

You guys are missing the point. It's a metaphor. METAPHOR. I wasn't trying to hire myself out as a cheap housekeeper.

On the other hand, did someone just say "chocolate cake"?

Tasha Alexander said...

Really, really GOOD chocolate cake. Come on! You know you want it. And you're right--the film could keep the cash flowing for quite a while. I think we're on to something here...