Vacuuming and the Muse

Vacuuming and the Muse or “I Wish I had More Hands!”

“Whatsa doin?”

“Mommy’s writing, sweetie.”


“To earn money to build an office.”


“For peace and quiet.”


“To finish her book.”


Why, why, why…wow, just got a great idea for another story.

As parents who decided to stay at home and write, we often curse that decision. Then again, as my example demonstrated, out of sheer nerves of steel, calmly answering questions from our little ones, ideas and our Muse actually do smack us across the face. The writing parents who allow themselves to be objective, understanding there will be times when family and outside commitments will interfere with the writing process, are the ones who progress at a faster pace. Why? Because they manage to ebb their anger and frustrations more often than the writing parents who believed they’d be writing all the time. They understand a schedule may be interrupted by life’s unexpected happenings.

I’m a mommy of five, kids all grown now, but I remember struggling to find time here and there to jot down a paragraph or two into my WIP:

  • either early in the morning when everyone was still asleep
  • when the kids were at school
  • right after supper when they each disappeared to do their own thing in their rooms
  • or for an hour after they went to bed

I always say where there’s a will…there are flames of disappointment threatening to urge you to just give up, go to bed, forget about writing. So that ‘will’ better include a deep passion for writing otherwise those disappointing flames will burn you up. Just don’t give up. As a stay-at-home writer there will be days where you are going to be too exhausted to do anything. Been there, done that. As long as you maintain a determination, write down at least even one paragraph, you will feel accomplished seeing your novel move forward. It took me a year to write my tween fantasy adventure, The Rock of Realm (Rock Kingdom Series Book 1)but I did it and haven’t stopped smiling since.

But I’ve gone off track…

The Muse is funny. She hides under the dirt while vacuuming, and as you lift the corner of the carpet she decides to wallop you with a grand idea. With baby in one hand, Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaner in the other, you mentally pen and visualize your story line. Fear grips you. What if you forget? Where’s that pen and notebook? It’s staring at you on the coffee table. Who or what do you drop to write your story? As a parent, you naturally drop the vacuum, re-position the little one, and off you go writing up a storm.

What does the little scenario prove? That serious writers who work at home understand writing is their passion and business, and don’t mind delaying vacuuming for a while. Dirt will enter the house in about an hour anyway when the rest of the clan come home. Right now, while the house is relatively quiet, you reach out and grab a hold of your Muse while she’s visiting.

For those who don’t understand this passion, just finish vacuuming. Kids are going to rush through that door shortly, craving some clean spots to dirty.


As a stay-at-home writer/parent, how do you deal with household/family interruptions? When do you find the time to passionately pen your WIPs?

Leave me your comments below and I’ll post them in a future article.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links but for products I highly recommend. I will never put anything on any post that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.”

Other posts you might enjoy:

How to Use Fairy Tales to Plot Your Novel

10 Tips for Writers: Slump Climb

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Books I’ve bought and used:

The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own (The HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers)

The Writer’s Partner: 1001 Breakthrough Ideas to Stimulate Your Imagination

The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children