My Dishwasher, My Muse


Автор Ujalov (Igor M. Olov) (собственная работа) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, через Викисклад

I am the best writer in the world when I’m emptying my dishwasher. Burdened with the task that has to be the most endless, repetitive drudge in all of humanity that can literally be completed in under ten minutes, suddenly, my creativity alights.

Forget the forks. Forget the mugs that always have little puddles of water in their bottom-tops, heat-dry or no heat-dry (sorry environment). No, the instant I’m reaching up into the cabinet to precariously stack the cereal bowls is the instant I could be creating my most insightful masterpiece.


That’s the moment I want to feel the wind under my fingers as they fly over the keyboard. That’s the moment I want to transform my bright, mid-century square of an apartment into a sloped attic garret, with exposed golden wood beams and unexpected cracks of sunlight. I want to toil away, just me an the page, the page and me, until the ideas are fully realized, fully formed from the muck of my imagination.

And then I finish emptying the dishwasher.

We can all surmise how that turns out. Sometimes the feeling does carry through, and I sit down and get to work, minus the garret, of course. I haven’t quite nailed my transmogrification yet.

In fact, doing something like emptying the dishwasher is one of the techniques I utilize when blocked. I give myself a choice: I can write or I can do something I feel even less like doing. At worst I get a chore done, at best, I face the words.

Writing ebbs and flows, creativity ebbs and flows. Mood alone can’t dictate productivity, or we’d never get anything done. When all else fails, there’s always the dishwasher.


Seriously, that thing seems to never not need emptying.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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