I like to wash dishes — yep, it’s true! I find it very Zen. And I’m not talking about placing dirty dishes in a dishwasher — I mean real life, filling the sink with hot water and soap, scrubbing clean the dishes. You know how it goes — dip the dirty plate in the extremely hot and soapy water, clean with the dish-mop until it sparkles and then place it on the draining board to dry. One dish at a time — which is where the Zen part comes in.
It gives me time to think — and often that’s when I do some plotting — and not the downfall of some foreign country. I’m talking constructively getting my thoughts around where my story is heading.
So it was with a great deal of joy that I discovered that a very famous writer has felt the same way.
This quote from Agatha Christie invokes what I feel:
“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”*
Really, as a writer I can be thinking about a story or a chapter or a sentence or even which word to use, anytime, anywhere, not just when I’m washing up after dinner. It’s what writers do and why we often have that vague-not-listening-to-you look about us.
Of course the only problem with doing the dishes is that they need to be dried. And boy, do I hate that part!
*(thanks to http://www.quotegarden.com/writing.html)
**(photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie)