The chaos of a writer’s house

You might say I’ve looked for the easy way out all weekend long.

 Easy breezy meals that require virtually no time to prepare.

 The chaos that wasn’t put neatly away, so it had to get along with the funky. “Milk, meet your new friend rusty cultivator blade!” And good luck on finding a topic in common to talk about…

 And those that really like REALLY know me would know something like this crooked lampshade would drive me batty.

I don’t do crooked unless it’s part of an intentional design element. Someone that works with rulers and straight lines like stripes on a firetruck can spot something an 1/8 of an inch out. Crooked = itchy!

Don’t you think this thought is totally ironic?

“Hi, my name is Donna and I author a home decor blog, and love to show you all the wonderful crazy things I do to my own home.  However, since I’m too busy writing about it, I can’t decorate it. So, see ya around!”

As you know, I’m creating a draft to show my writing abilities to a book editor. And the procedure is a mixed bag of intense, exciting, and grueling. But more fun than anything. 🙂

This weekend I was thankful for the quiet home of my 3 snoozing pets, hearing the muffled sounds from the furnace providing the warmth I needed, and the presence of a hot coffee when the desire hit. And grateful I didn’t lose power when the big wind storm blasted through last night. I was able to pound that keyboard until I couldn’t any longer.

 Such is the life of a wannabe writer I guess. Or busy DIYer. Or whatever other force drives you towards your passion. It’s pretty tough to do it all isn’t it?

I use to be a perfectionist, however I had to hang that hat up exactly 11 years ago when my son was born. I got pretty good at letting things slide, however once single parenthood hit, the scale tipped even lower. These days? If you walk in unannounced, you may not find the floor. 🙂

I wrote this while enjoying a bowl of homemade chicken soup made in a massive pot a few days ago. Nuke, done. This meal was even speedier than the cantelope breakfast! My kinda cooking. 🙂

Ah, ya just gotta laugh this stuff off, ya know? I think for the most part we worry too much about what others will think. I don’t believe I’ve lost a friend yet by them tripping over a pile of coats laying on the floor.

But I’ll admit… I’m glad pets and kids really don’t care 🙂

 So, would you like a little peek on a graphic element I made tonite? I’m to illustrate how I desire the book to look like. Here’s how I designed a new chapter heading.  Just for a tiny little junky type element of course. 🙂

And I’d just like to add, thanks so much for your wonderfully encouraging words and prayers! Please know they are working! The words are coming and the designs are happening.

In that same vein, today our pastor belted out a new tune that had the church pews really rockin’. I need to chat with him because he ought to be recording his own music. However, this will fill in quite nicely. Great song and had me feeling it with the new opportunity given to me lately. 



 
 Ah man. And I totally forgot about Valentine’s Day. We normally bake our favorite peppermint sugar cookies. Maybe tomorrow night… Happy Valentine’s Day, all!


This post is quite the mixed bag, is it not?

Back on topic.. how do you cope with the chaos around you when you’re trying to get a project done?

Who cooks? Who cleans?
Any full time writers reading this? Is your house always messy? 🙂

Edited to add: this note on Facebook was so welcome while taking a breather.. so sweet!



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  1. Oh, goodness! I knew you would be hard at it all weekend. When we are in project mode, keeping the kids clean and fed is priority one and after that, well, anything goes! My hubby will pitch in or hide depending on my mood and I always just figure that after it is all done, I will spend a day cleaning it all up. Keep up the book – I can’t wait!

  2. Way to go Donna! Working on a project we do tend to let things slide, but they can always be done later. That’s what happens around here. 🙂

    Enjoy this new venture and have a wonderful
    Valentine’s Day ~ FlowerLady

  3. Hi Donna, I just recently started following your blog and must say how entertaining you are! I don’t usually comment much (just not enough time) but when I read your post and your dilemma, I instantly thought of a new book that is out titled “A Perfectly Kept House is a Sign of a Misspent Life”. I haven’t gotten it yet but the title is my new mantra! Good luck with the book and I look forward to reading more about your hurdles and achievements. And even if I don’t comment for a while, just know that I read every post!

  4. First, love Chris Tomlin. Second, so excited for you and the writing opportunity! I’m the same way. I’m full of anxiety when I spend the weekend creating or working on a house project because that means I’m not cooking for the week, getting the laundry done, etc. before work on Monday. I remember to make the kids a priority, keep my mess to one area of the house (if possible) and just keep looking at my project plan to motivate me to finish. Take care! Congrats on this new venture.I

  5. Wonderful Donna post. Amazing that in the midst of your writing frenzy you still find the time to make a post like this (because you don’t fool me, this takes a lot of time too).
    I am happy that you are happy and that your writing is going well.
    And yes, my house is a mess too, especially when I am on a crafting binge. And sometimes My Love chips in, but right now he is busy studying. So we are just grateful for a full freezer and decide that we can sleep in our dirty bed another week (after all it is our own dirt 🙂 ).
    Have a wonderful week and happy valentines day to you.

  6. So very exciting Donna…sounds like God is giving you “the desires of your heart”…can’t wait to follow along on your journey!
    Things tend to get a bit out of control here when I’m getting ready for a sale but I tend to “hole up” until I can get things back “in order” before I let anyone in…I think I need to get over that, because the people who love me, will love me even when the laundry baskets are overflowing…I hope 🙂
    Congratulations and blessings in your new adventure! Laurel

  7. I missed seeing U here. I’m so happy for your book writing. Can’t wait til it’s done. I won’t come to visit unannounced and it doesn’t matter to me what’s on the floor or how many dishes R in the sink….etc., etc.,….oh, clean bathroom please! Enjoy.
    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  8. My mantra…. no one dies and says they wished they had cleaned more! Let it go, it will be there when you get back to it. Live this life, it may not be! So excited for you and for us! Also I came across this quote the other day and you came to mind. To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk…. Thomas Edison. Praying for light bulbs moments for you!

  9. First things first…do your creating, writing and anything else your creative self wants to do…that housework will be there for another time.
    Have a happy time writing…:)

  10. I believe whole heartedly in the words “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”… straight from the Bible, ya know.
    When a deadline hits around here, yes, things slide. But as fast as it rolled in, it rolls out and the dust settles. Then the housework, etc. gets caught up again. It’s always there, isn’t it? The important things come first.
    I also love the saying, “did you come over to see me, or my house??”
    Friends love you anyway, right?
    Keep up the great work, I can not wait to see how you put it all together! So exciting 🙂
    Becky C

  11. First: define “cope”… The house gets cleaned when company is coming or I just can’t stand it any more. The problem with cleaning is that project parts get put away and may not come out again for a long time. That helped me cope with the company but not the project… Life is a roller coaster ride.

  12. Sorry, it took me this long to find my desk… oh yea, as a writer and an artist, my house is utter chaos most of the time. I actually invite company at least once a week, so I actually clean it (the downstairs that is). Hmmm, I probably should invite some out of town guests…I can’t seem to find the towels…

  13. Oh thank you for this post. I feel like I am always catching up on housework. Now I don’t feel so alone!

    Sometimes I do remind myself that God created the earth out of chaos!! 😉

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  14. Love makes a home not the vacumn cleaner.
    When I made the decision to go to grad school I had to let go of my insane housekeeping rituals.
    Fast forward to today, cleaning takes a back seat to most anything else. I still see the messes but I remind myself they will be there tomorrow when I will give the messes my full attention; for now I’m creating or studying or in your case writing.

  15. Love that design!

    About writing and keeping house:
    -It’s never as clean as I like.
    -It’s never decorated like I want.
    -I have to have systems in place that make things easier during those times when I have to work on heavy duty projects.
    -If the house is too distracting, I go to the library or coffee shop to work.
    -I have a very understanding family who is willing to pitch in (sometimes) and eat frozen pizza.

    What you are experiencing is quite normal. Make sure, though, that when the project is complete you do something rewarding for yourself and for your son if he sacrificed time with you for this project. Always have a reward, even a small one, dangling in front of you for when the writing project/s is complete.

  16. It doesn’tmatter who your household contains…self..kids…no kids…hubby…no hubby…it is always difficult to keep it clean when working on a project…mine inclueded! And its just me and the dog! However, it’s a real good frenzy, there’s always plenty of time to do the cleaning frenzy…. later!

  17. I’ve been up to my neck in DIY home remodel for the past five years, so I can relate! We’ve gone through teenager troubles, illness, and running out of money (on a regular basis). We’re in the home stretch and my husband and I are getting pretty burned out. Yes, my house is usually messy, which has never been my personality. It’s been a learning process and God-willing I’ll come out of it a better person! I’m always looking for that elusive “balance” which is what I think you’re talking about here. If you’re like me you never learned to say, “Help!” I’ve been learning about that one lately!

  18. So excited to hear the continuation of your writing project!…Way to go!
    As for keeping it together while working in chaos…
    1.keep the finish priority…
    2.start with a reasonably organized field…
    3.and preprepare some foods………
    Who am I kidding…..I just wing it!
    Have a HApPy VaLenTInEs Day!….
    Still more wind to come here in the valley so you will have plenty of opportunity to stay in & work!

  19. Great post! I can’t stand a messy house, and believe it or not that is the one thing that will hold me back from starting on a project. Because no one else that lives in this house cares how clean or messy it is except for me. So if I am knee deep in molding, paint, stencils, or whatever – the whole house is in chaos and stays that way until I am able to clean it! Sad, but true. I gotta work on that – because I really want to rip the carpet off my stairs…..
    Danielle

  20. Hi Donna — LOVE Funky Junk! So glad to find a kindred soul who also loves rusty, funky, junky,”what?? you’re bringing that home???” finds!!!

    I am an author with over 50 published books, and 30 years of curriculum and article writing so I get ya. Living life is my creative process and I think that, as we have been created by our Creator, so we are meant to create. Any advice I can give, ask away. For starters: Let it flow. Sometimes stepping away from the “project” to putz around the house (yes, clean a toilet or water a plant or take a walk around the block…) will get the creative juices flowing more. Keep drinking – water, tea, coffee, and even a good glass of wine at the end of the day! Jot down every idea… you’ll use it someday. Most importantly, have fun!!

    Cheers and carry on… Debbie Trafton O’Neal

  21. I can’t stand how excited I am FOR YOU! You so rock girl! So glad to see your hard work coming in to a reward. Keep on trucking and doing your thing! Everything will be the way it is supposed to be!

  22. Hi Donna, Someone sent me this message once and I thought I would share it with you. “Perfection is not required of you – only perfect effort. Life awaits you on the other side of risk. Who cares about those when greatness is possible? Who cares about those when fairy tales are at hand?” Luv C

  23. Ahhhhhhh, the life of a mom, pet owner, decorator, author, daughter of the King,…it all weaves together to make something really really beautiful no matter how many crooked lampshades there are. I’ll be praying for you girl.
    Debbie

  24. Overheard near the punch bowl.

    Hostess Donna: “Meet your new friend ‘Mr. Rusty Cultivator- Blade'”

    Him: “Oh, are you from the Greenwich Cultivator- Blades?”

    His wife, embarrassed, interjects, “John, Deere….”

    Enjoy the process of writing as much as you can 🙂

  25. As I stood in Barnes & Noble the other night looking for the Romantic Home mag that features “you”…I had a imaginative vision of me scouring the shelves for you new book…my cartoon thought bubble burst when I realized your book was sold out! LOL…Romantic Home was no where to be found either! Conspiracy!

    I found myself thinking about you on and off all weekend. What’s she writing about? Bet she’s still in her PJ’s. Hope she is getting her rest.

    Love the design sneak peek, it’s so you!

    Happy “Rustic” Valentine’s Day to you Donna 🙂

  26. No worries Donna…our laundry basket is in the same place as yours! LOL Loved that picture…keep writing! The chaos will be worth it in the end : ) Happy Valentines to you guys

  27. I am so happy for you! If anyone deserves to write a book, it is YOU! You have what it takes so focus, focus, focus! Who cares what the house looks like while you write. It only matters when you need the shot! Hugs to you, friend. I’ve missed hanging with you and hope to be back in the blogging world again soon! <3

  28. I was never getting anything done because I thought the cooking and cleaning had to be done first. Now, my house is a mess, but I’m a happy girl because a lot of projects I’ve been putting off are getting completed!

    I just don’t invite anyone in my house. 🙂

    I love your chapter title! You are doing great!

  29. In the moment it can all seem to crash down around us at one time or another. Sit down with a cup of hot tea or coffee. Reflect on your goals as you’re sipping on your drink and then take a few deep cleansing breaths and return to the task at hand with renewed vigor. It seems to work for me. We don’t realize how tension silently builds in us until it refuses to go unnoticed any longer as we work on important projects. You will make it work and it will get done and you will be rewarded for all your effort when you give it your best, and you do give it your best. I’ve seen your blog entries and projects and I am amazed at your ability. I think of you as the Super Funky Junk leader and feel so inspired by your blog. Don’t worry about what others think about your house. They probably have the same concerns about their own. We are not robots and we are definitely not the energizer bunny. Just remember to take a little down time for you to recharge as you go about all your projects. This too shall pass.

  30. Let me just say, I love your honesty. When people are real about their messes (physical, personal, emotional, etc…) it makes them approachable and I like that very much. I, too, am a mom, blogger and aspiring writer – and I’m new to the crafting world (not new in theories, just new in action). And I, too, have messes all around – in my house and in my life – as we all do. I really enjoy your blog and the fact that you make beauty and usefulness out of what some see as junk. A great metaphor for how to live life. 🙂