Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Laundry List

Photo courtesy of kokabella via

As it happens, I know a few facts about laundry.  I do so much laundry in the course of a week that I’ve considered adding the skill to my resume.

Laundry is never-ending. Empty the hamper today and it will be full again tomorrow.  I’ve always considered laundry the perfect metaphor for a recurring nightmare, but lately I’ve put a different spin on it.  While sorting and soaking last week I passed the time, as I often do, thinking about writing. You may be surprised to learn that writing and laundry have a lot in common. Not enough to elevate laundry to the exalted level of writing, mind you, but enough that I have a new respect for washing clothes. Here are a few examples of my reasoning:

  • A laundry hamper is like a writer’s brain—it is always full or filling up.
  • Some story ideas are like grass stains on a little leaguer’s britches—you better learn to deal with them because they aren’t going away.
  • Laundry items are like characters in a novel—different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. And some are dirtier and harder to save than others.
  • Folding freshly dried laundry is like editing—it gets the wrinkles out.

To be fair, I spend so much time writing or thinking about writing that I can probably compare almost anything to it; but consider the laundry comparisons to be akin to a lifeline tossed to a desperate woman.  As an optimist, I knew—just knew—that doing laundry had to have some redeemable attribute other than the obvious benefit of clean clothes in the closet.  Score one for the power of positive thinking.

Is there any chore you detest that can be made better by comparing it to something you love to do? Give it a try. You may be surprised what spins out.

See you next for Book Blurb Friday!


  1. And if you don't keep the lint trap clean/keep your inner critic at bay, nothing will get accomplished...

  2. Sometimes my stories presoak way too long. I like this post! Time to write.

  3. And rejections can bleach your energy right out of your collar!

  4. Would giving up the laundry duties be satisfying? Or do we cling to our laundry? To continue the writing metaphor, are we able to accept editorial suggestions from others?

    My detested chore would be toilet cleaning. But I suppose I should see it as a way to revise and make things sparkle afresh!

  5. Laundry is one of those mindless chores that frees your brain to think about writing. Good analogy. I actually love doing laundry. As I let my marvelous machines I am always grateful I'm not using a wringer washer like my Grandma had.

  6. I've never thought of laundry in quite that way before. Good for you.
    Actually, I don't mind doing it. It does free up my mind for other things, but I haven't thought about using the free time for thinking about writing.

  7. Laundry is in my blog bio line, too :-) I love the comparisons to writing. Unfortunately, sometimes I feel like I spend more time doing laundry than I do writing.

  8. Sioux - I agree - good one!

    Linda - Me too!

    Claudia - Haha...nice one!

    Michael - Ugh. I don't like toilet cleaning either. But I like your comparison. :)

    Laraine - If I had to wash the old fashioned way my family would be short on clothes. LOL

    Kay - I'm a nut. EVERYTHING makes me think of writing.

    Susan - Boy, can I relate to that. *sigh* Laundry is the chore that keeps on giving.

  9. This is awesome, Lisa. I don't detest doing laundry, but there are only two of us and we have tons of clothes in reserve, so if I get behind only our favorites are buried, and then when I catch up it is like Christmas.

    I cleaned house for others for so long that there is nothing that I really detest about housework (but digging out hair from bathtub drains can literally make me sick ... maybe I should think of a comparison to that???? lol). Still, I do seem to leave the bathrooms for last at our house.

    Hey, I'm going to post early again this week for BBF cuz I have to have oral surgery in the morning. I just put it on there tonight and hook up on Friday.


    Kathy M.

  10. Great post - love the analogy. I think I'll start looking at everything I do and how it relates to writing!

  11. And one of the first tasks is sorting through the big mess. Love it! But I dare not compare it to too many chores or I'll end up putting off writing the way I put off vacuuming.

  12. Kathy - Ugh. Bathroom drains. I agree, it's a nasty chore, way worse than laundry.!

    Lynn - Let me know what you discover. :)

    Tammy - LOL I procrastinate, too, but not with laundry. I've learned if I don't keep up with it I end up buried.


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