Housework as Work Avoidance: Authors at Home

In a typically adorable interview, author Sloane Crosley said, "Similarly, I built and stained the bookshelves in my apartment and this actually came up at breakfast with a friend this morning. She said, 'You must really not sleep.' And I thought, 'I must really not write.'" I know I get some of my best housework done when I'm putting off actual work…

Sloane Crosley's interviewer, Erin McKenna of BabyCakes NYC, also admitted to busy-procrastination, dipping and decorating dozens of donuts whenever she really wants to avoid paperwork and writing and such. The entire interview is at HelloGiggles, and as I said, it's adorable. I saw Sloane read recently, and she was delightful, as is her book, How Did You Get This Number. It seems she's figured out some balance — bookshelves built and stained and books written.

In Raffaella Barker's novel Hens Dancing, the heroine is a single mother and copywriter in rural England. She records in her journal, "The house is just as bad, filth exposed by the harsh glare of March sunshine...Must don a mobcap and do some work avoidance. Spurred onto housework by the arrival of three different brochures in need of copy. My job is to write it. This week I must sift sense from pages of computer-speak to make an interesting and readable booklet for Bellhaven Conference Halls, Tremendous, a new outsized clothing catalog, and for Heavenly Petting's new mail-order funeral service. Can hardly contain my excitement and yearn to get down to it. But first, the cupboard under the sink has become a hotel for slugs and snails. It needs my attention."

Household chores are great for avoiding more than just writing, of course. They're the perfect antidote to any complex, mercurial tasks. I might not be sure how to sort out my finances or write an awkward-but-necessary email, but I do know that if I apply soap & sponge to my dishes they will turn out clean.

Image: From HelloGiggles, thanks to Kelly Schwarze of GeekSugar