Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to balance writing and cleaning!

I work from home, which means I SEE what needs to be done all hours of day and night. When I clean I see the writing stuff I need to do. When I write I see the house stuff. Yet when it comes to writing, life, kids I have to make priorities:

1. Food. I shop big at Costco and have enough extra stuff around to throw together a nice meal at 5:45 p.m.

2. Order. My kids have had chores since they were preschoolers. At 19, 16, and 14 they still have daily chores AND know how to sprint through the house in a cleaning frenzy when I call home in desperation. "Company's coming!"

3. Peace. In my heart, not always in my schedule. When I have peace and go with the flow the family follows. They'd rather have a happy mom than a perfect house.

4. Understanding. For myself mostly. If God has called me to write books and articles and be an attentive mom and wife then I CAN'T keep a perfect house too. It's impossible.

5. Help. I do have a housecleaner once a week for three hours who does the deep cleaning. Huge help!

I do something called "The 27." I'll time myself and spend 27 minutes answering email, cleaning my desk, cleaning the house, putting away laundry, packaging books to send out ... you name it. 30 minutes sounds like it's a big chunk of time but for some reason 27 minutes seems doable! And I'm always amazed how much I can get done in that time.

Also, I only have one small corner in my kitchen where stuff accumulates, and I clean that off every other day. And I don't let kids drop stuff as they go. They must put it away. So if you show up at my house it looks (mostly) uncluttered ... just don't look at the dog hair on the floors or the dust on ... everything!


Kennisha Hill said...


This was for me. I tell ya, I was thinking about this very thing earlier. I have clothes I need to wash and clothes I need to put up. I am a stay at home mom and sometimes feel terrible and as if I haven't accomplished any of my home chores. My one year old keeps me busy since he's running through the house- and to make matters more challenging, he's running through the house with nose that runs like a foscet. He's got a cold and is miserable. So, mind you- I don't even get rest at night because he doesn't.

I'm praying for balance and for strength just to make it through the day without jumping off the balcony. Stress. Lord help me! But, today was a better day than yesterday so I thank God for that.

It's nice to know that I'm not insane. Thanks for posting this. It was a tremendous help!!!! I wish I could afford a house cleaner. Since I began more serious about my writing, I've been putting so much time and energy into articles, blogging and querying- along with jotting notes about my children's book. (YAY I have an illustrator!) So, my brain is going to explode. Maybe I need a night out to get some fresh air and a break from my desk. My husband clowned me today on how I "blog so much". I guess he misses me, which he needs to!

Ok. Please excuse my ranting!!!!!

Thanks again Tricia! You're a blessing and your blog is a daily treat!


Kennisha Hill said...

P.S., please excuse my many typos. I'm operating on empty!

AKCoulter said...

Thank you for this one, Tricia. It's nice to know you have to juggle like the rest of us.

Mari said...

Great tips. I work full time so my time to write is mostly on the weekends. However, then I feel like I should be cleaning and washing. I definitely have to get my girls out of lazy mode and back into chores. It would make this much easier. Thanks Tricia for the kick in the pants!

Tricia Goyer said...

I'm so glad I could be a help! YES I struggle with this too. It's so hard to work at the computer when there is 101 things to do around the house!

Alyssa said...

As a WAHM and writer as well I can soo relate to this. My children are tiny though, 18 months, 4 years and 2 months so I don't get alot of help from any of them but the 4 year old. Hoping to get more as the years go by.

JaimieH said...

I feel you on this one! Stayed at home for 10+ years on ebay & now am transitioning to blogging/2 other biz.....

I look behind me and see the dishes, the kitchen floor, the dust....

It's so hard to find balance between work hours and home hours....

Your first sentence sums it all up!
God bless & Keep Pressin'~