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Scrub a pot when you don’t know what to write.

Scrub a pot when you don't know what to write

A dirty pot and no story

When you are not sure what to write, go and scrub a pot. You can think more clearly when you are doing something. It is not practical or productive to wander from room to room staring at the laundry, the dirty dishes, or the unfinished manuscript.

Find something physical to do. Perhaps all of your pots are clean, then go and find a broom and sweep the kitchen floor. While you are scrubbing or sweeping, think about your story. Think about your characters. Is she tall or short?   What problem is she trying to overcome? What is the conflict? Is she nervous? Try and find a way to show she is nervous. Does she brush her hair all the time?  Don’t say, “She was nervous.” Describe a scene where she keeps brushing her hair. How is the conflict resolved? Does she cut all her hair off? Does she wear make-up? What does she like to do in her free time? Does she like to eat popcorn?

Scrub a pot when  you don’t know what to write. [Would you like to tweet that? You don’t have to of course, but if you want to, click  tweet tweet.]

If you are one of those rare breed of people who have no dirty dishes and no dog hair or bread crumbs on the kitchen floor, and all of your laundry is folded and put away, your windows are clean, the toilet bowl is so clean you could drink from it, and your carpets look like they were just put in, then I suggest you do jumping jacks or run around the block.

Open the front door and smell some fresh air, run up and down your driveway, swing your arms back and forth like a monkey, and sing the alphabet song.

Now go back and dry your pot, put it away, and sit down and write.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. —Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie likes to plan her books when she is washing her dishes. I like to plan my stories when I scrub my pots.

And you? What do you do when you don’t know what to write?  Please tell me in the comments. I really want to know.

p.s. I wasn’t sure what to write today, so I scrubbed all of my pots. The bottom of all my pots are clean and I wrote today about not knowing what to write about.

p.s.s.  I also made a plan for my book; she cuts off all her hair, she doesn’t wear make-up, she likes popcorn, and she gets fired from her job.

A clean pot and a story

A clean pot and a story

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Ha! Yup, I get lots of inspiration while doing the dishes. I also take existing characters along for drives, where they frequently fill me in on LOADS of things 😉

    • Hello Mirel,
      Today when I drive to pick my daughter up at school I will take some of my characters with me. That will be more entertaining than the radio.
      I hope you are well.

      • Hi Pamela,
        Thanks, doing great 🙂 Hope the same by you.

        So, what did your characters have to tell you on the way to school? Don’t keep us in suspense…

        • Hello Mirel,
          I leave in a few minutes to get her, I will tell you when I get back.
          I don’t think she is going to grow her hair long after she cut it all off, and she may not get another job. Right now she wants to move home with her parents.

          • The fun thing is that when they come along for the ride, I don’t have time to think ’cause they’re too busy talking to me. One of my characters filled me in on his childhood. Another revealed the secret of why she was such a B***, pardon the expression, and so on. I really didn’t know any of it before they revealed their secrets to me…

  • Yay! You’re back in business.

  • In spite of the fact that I know I should be doing something, I don’t. What is wrong with me? Then, I get frustrated because I don’t have anything to write about..Du-uh! Double Du-uh. Thank you, (again) for another slap to reality. I have a toilet to clean.

    • My pots are all clean now Shelley, now I will have to move onto toilets. How did you writing go today?