Feb 12, 2011

To Shower or not to shower?

by Bonnie Harris

First of all thank you to all for the advice. I'm going to have to check that book out and put it in my "To read" stack. :) Also, I have to apologize if I missed a post. I got all confuzzled on what was happening, but I've gotten all straightened out . . . hopefully.

I think I'm beginning to see why some authors don't shower. Last year I went to a League of Utah Writers Conference where Anita Stansfield was one of the keynote speakers. She talked about how she made time for writing and the things she gave up along the way. One of the things she said was there were many days she didn't shower. What?!? A day with no shower? How could someone live like that? I love my showers and look forward to them. They make me feel human and frankly wake me up when I can't seem to open my eyes in the morning.

Well, I believe I understand where she was coming from now. I set a goal to write for a half an hour a day. Doable don't you think? That's what I thought. Everything in me said that wouldn't be a problem, after all babies sleep a lot and I've heard more than once that "nap time is writing time." So there would be no problem with squeezing a half an hour in a day . . . right?

Ha! Those people who said babies sleep all the time . . . they lied! I'm lucky if I get the chance to scarf down food and/or take a shower before he wakes up again. So now I find myself debating, what's more important? I really want to write and I feel like I haven't accomplished much if I don't write, but to give up a shower? I don't know.

I'm finding my mind whirling with ideas and revisions but I haven't been able to get them in the computer yet. So here's what I've decided. It comes down to do I take a shower or write for the twenty minutes it takes to get in, out and dressed. The conclusion . . . I haven't decided yet.

In the meantime I'm trying to apply some of the other principles Anita Stansfield talked about. One mostly. She said that she asked her husband, "If there were only three things I could get done around the house, what would they be?" And those were the only three things she did. Her kids never went without what they needed but she taught them that writing was important to her and was able to get them to help and support her in that. (I guess I shouldn't expect that much from a nine-week-old.) So I'm working on those three things so my husband doesn't feel neglected (like a lot of our pets do at the moment).

So I'm looking on the bright side until I make that all important decision of whether or not to give up the shower and enjoying the few moments I do get to write. It's working so far, even though I'd love to be doing more. Balancing life, isn't it fun!


  1. I totally support the no shower every once in a while. I do it regularly. I like the idea of asking what three things should not be neglected. I'm gonna have to instigate that one until I finish my degree. I wish I would have thought of it sooner. Good luck with getting the baby to support you, it will happen soon enough. Until then, just enjoy the baby moments because they really do go super fast.

  2. To shower or not to shower is a question I ask myself several times a week. One discovery I made when I started growing my hair out: shower caps. If I don't have to worry about drying/doing my hair from scratch every day, it saves lots of time. Good luck answering!

  3. I live in the state of "shower or not" thought. I make sure the kids are fed and forget to feed me, then forget bedtime and doing dishes. Yet, I see the commitment I made to read adn write has been beneficial.
    Thank you for these thoughts

  4. I combine my personal hygiene with the need for writers to read regularly too, and I take a good book into the bath with me. This often results in my teenager mocking me for sitting in my own stew for an hour or longer, but whatever works. Nobody has complained yet about the way I smell! ;D

    There are a few problems to this method, however. The first being that I tend to fall in the bath more than I fall in the shower. My shoulder still hurts from the last time I fell. (And my pride, as my husband quoted the "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" commercial at me.) Also, one of the cats attacked the shower curtain last week and knocked Goblet of Fire into the bath. Ironically, I'd just put it down onto the side of the tub after reading the prefect's bathtub scene in the book.

    I asked my husband a few months ago what his three requirements would be, if I were to have more time for writing. I didn't like his answers! I'm going to ask him again and see if they've changed. Hehe

  5. My problem is when to sleep; not enough and I lose it over someone eating the sour cream I bought for baked potatos, true story. But it's all in the name of art right?

  6. Good luck with the shower delema. I appreciate the 3 things tips. When you find out how to balance your life please share the results.

  7. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one with this problem. Thanks for the tips and good laughs!


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