Wednesday Words of Wisdom #7 — Doing the Dishes

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

I’ve done a lot of things while doing the dishes, but mostly my main goals while doing so are (a) getting the dishes washed and (b) getting dirt from under my fingernails.

But I get the point. A lot of story planning often happens while taking care of menial tasks that don’t require a great deal of thought. Mild boredom leads to idle speculation, idle speculation leads to new character or plot ideas, new character or plot ideas lead to the write side.

I think it’s a great state to be in because, at least for me, there’s a lot of internal pressure to be *coughcough* productive. (The same pressure that sometimes squeezes out that nasty little “are you making any money by writing yet” question.) Well, I’m daydreaming about my stories while doing something productive, so there!


A lot of my ideas come to me while I’m listening to music in the car (*coughcough* time in which I couldn’t be productive anyway). I do this thing where I try to think which of my stories and characters a song might apply to, and then the song in turn starts to influence whatever I’m relating it to. What would this line mean to this character’s life? If this bit of the chorus gets repeated throughout the song, should that thought be more prominent in the story? Sometimes answers to questions like that would be no not really, but I’m still thinking about the story from a new angle and something new will usually come from it.

It’s easier to do this with music, but of course it happens while I’m listening to audiobooks as well. That’s more annoying, because I miss bits of the book I’m trying to listen to and have to rewind!

What are your “doing the dishes” moments?


Note: I’m not advocating the whole *coughcough* be productive thing, because it’s a shitty feeling and can be a really shitty way to live. It’s exhausting because it creates a set of expectations that, when not met, generate unnecessary and unasked for guilt. Sometimes I have to force myself to stop doing things for a while because it’s wearing me down.


5 thoughts on “Wednesday Words of Wisdom #7 — Doing the Dishes

  1. Driving in the car and listening to music is a huge one for me! If I’m driving I turn my voice recorder on and just say my idea out loud so I don’t forget. Also when I’m at home I find I get inspired to write poetry when I’m listening to song lyrics I really like.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Long distance running is a great activity for me, when you have to think about anything but how tired you are and just push your body forward it is good to distract yourself with thoughts about my characters.
    I like your music routine, what a fun way to think of your characters.

    Liked by 1 person

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