I admit that I haven’t picked up a Writer’s Digest in many, many years. I’m fairly certain that NIN and Madonna were top of the charts the last time I read WD. In fact, if George Lucas was writing about the last time I read this particular magazine the words “long, long ago” would probably feature prominently. But I do recall being equally disgusted a couple of decades ago with their asinine advice as I am today.
And for some reason, this advice seems to be repeated over and over again through the years, online and offline, and whenever anyone is giving “advice” on writing. That advice is – ignore everything but writing. According to the experts, you should live in a filthy house, shuffling around in house-pants and slippers, surrounded by children and pets who live on whatever ever snacks they can paws out of a cabinet or find in the carpet. At the same time, these experts are extolling time-management.
Maybe, and this is just a suggestion, they could learn to manage enough time to shake out the rug and use a little Pledge now and then. I don’t find dust bunnies and dirty dishes particularly inspiring and I actually like getting dressed. I am sure that some writing can be done pantless, although it might be better unmentioned what kinds. Even Hemingway put on slacks most days. They don’t let you into the better class of bars unless you do.
Writing isn’t your life. Writing (or any other kind of job/hobby/pursuit) is a part of your life. Your life also consists of laundry, lawns, bills, family, pets, and, dare I say, pants. Life is all the things you like to do plus all the things you have to do. Hopefully, those lists even out and on good days the “like to do-s” outnumber the list that includes cleaning out lint traps, changing air filters, and trying to decide if that’s a “good” spider on the wall (up for relocation to the garden) or one that I’d best go at with a magazine.
If you disagree and would rather spend your day in your underwear, eating Cheese Nips, and extolling the artistic virtues of filth and disrepair, more power to you. But don’t expect me to visit or do your dishes.