Why Doing Chores Around the House Can Help Your Child be a Better Writer

This is a guest post by Debbie Richardson. Debbie is the author of YA fiction. She has two novels published under her pen name D L Richardson. Her books “The Bird With The Broken Wing” and “Feedback” are widely available through online bookstores. www.dlrichardson.com

Nagging your child about doing chores around the house isn’t only good for the cleanliness of a home it can also lead to improved writing skills.

Writing takes discipline.

It’s okay at the start of a novel to dump everything onto the page, sort of like a child throwing stuff around the room with the promise of sorting it out later, but after the first draft a writer has to follow the guidelines of grammar, use appropriate tone and language, stick to the correct word length. Editing is very similar to tidying up a room; everything has to be in its proper place, everything has to be neat and tidy, there can be no loose threads to be unraveled, no unmade bed, all the clothes have to be picked up and put away. Basically, when a writer edits their work they are sorting through the mess and tidying it up.

So once you grasp the art of self-discipline, how can you master it?

Saying “no” to doing the things you’d rather be doing isn’t easy. For me, saying “no” can mean getting up early and typing up a quick blog piece instead of sleeping in, or skipping a TV show to write a chapter of a novel, or even (gasp) saying no to the party invitation to edit my book or update my website. The weird thing about saying “no” is that it seems to be easy for us to say “no” to our family members, but not so easy when it comes to our friends.

So why do we have trouble saying “no” to our friends?

Saying “no” to friends usually stems from the fear of being told you have lost or are in danger of losing your spot in a particular social circle. Sometimes you’ve worked very hard to claim that spot. So it can be difficult to force yourself to be comfortable doing the opposite of what you want to do. However, a writer needs to be comfortable saying “no” to outside influences.

Deadlines don’t wait.

I once attended a seminar where a national TV newsreader/presenter (I think you’d call her an anchorwoman) told the audience of her journey of a dream of being on TV to achieving that dream. Her advice for anyone who wanted to achieve their dreams was “accept that there will always be parties”. She’s right. I can never run into any of my friends without the inevitable social invitation popping out of one of our mouths.

There will always be a social event happening when you’re ready to join in.

I no longer fear being kicked out of my social circle, and I think this is because self-confidence and self-discipline are closely related. And all because as a child I kept my room neat and tidy.

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