If you’re like me you probably write your “life in 10 minutes” pieces somewhere in the general vicinity of a sink full of dirty dishes. 

My favorite fantasy as a writer is that I have a sink full of dirty dishes BECAUSE I’m a writer. That’s probably even true for some writers. I bet Stephen King writes next to a sink full of dirty dishes, for like days and days, shit piling up everywhere until you can’t even see him, he’s just this feverishly clacking thing inside a teetering mound of the detritus of life, urine bottles and half-eaten big mac containers jiggling forth periodically from the center and trickling down the outside of the pile to let us know he’s still alive.

At least he probably did before he became rich and famous. I don’t know. The point is, my sink is full of dirty dishes, but not because I’ve been writing. 

In fact if I’ve been writing I usually have been doing the dishes. If the writing stops being interesting to me, starts to look like the same garbage I’ve always started and never finished and then picked up later and realized it was juvenile crap anyway, starts to become just another part of the slog of life like doing the dishes… I suddenly stop writing AND stop doing the dishes.

That goes on for a while. Then one day II think “hey remember that thing I do where I sit down and write until I can’t think of anything else and the instant I stop I have to get up and do the dishes? That was working OK. At the very least I’ll get clean dishes out of it” and then I’m off again.

Somewhere during this cycle comes the sneering, the self-loathing, the “when will you stop this stupid cycle where you write for a while and then quit for a while, you gotta get your PROCESS down, man” and you have to, right then, shoot back “this IS the process, man” and just keep going.

Or at least get up and do the damn dishes.


Richmond, Virginia

 Adam Short's gutters are not in good repair.