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Art is work

In the last few weeks I have been asked this question several times - how do you find the time to write? It's a good question, and I have been trying to think of a good way to answer it. I saw a post this morning that clarified it for me. I have reproduced it below in all its glory but this is how I would put it. Write first. Don't clean, or do all the other things first. Write first.

I know that probably sounds selfish and in particular it's hard when you have many other priorities competing. In particular, though, don't clean first. I am not going to pretend that cleaning was ever my top priority in the first place, as anyone who has ever been to my house would confirm. I mean it's not a bio-hazard, but I am never going to start blogging about the Joy of Cleaning. Some people love it and I guess the advice to them is - clean first, if that's what you love. But if you put the thing you love after the things you think you HAVE to do, you won't get there.

Let the dust gather - draw, paint, sew, write, whatever does it for you - do it first. And anyway, as Quentin Crisp wisely said, “There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.”. Be like Quentin. Do not be over-burdened by over-respectability and over-responsibility. Don't clean first.


(from Ravenous Butterflies) “I've seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write... and you know it's a funny thing about housecleaning... it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectability) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she "should" be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Anders Zorn



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