Sunday, August 23, 2009

Did Agatha Christie stress over her hips?

Seems I spend much of my writing day trudging back and forth from my desk to the kitchen. I hit a snag in plotting and I run to the kitchen for a snack. My heroine doesn’t behave the way I would like so I reach inside my candy drawer. It’s empty these days since I practice mindful eating, so another trip to the kitchen is warranted. My tummy raises the roof two hours before dinner. I rationalize that I can’t produce if I am distracted by hunger so…you guessed it…back to the kitchen.

I wish Agatha Christie had written a blog post describing how she dealt with this problem. She was a country girl, dedicated to her craft, but not glued to her seat. I imagine her eavesdropping on the servants downstairs in the kitchen, chatting and rattling pots and pans, while she tried to work and the rumble of her tummy interrupted every five minutes.

Perhaps she was oblivious to such trivial distractions. She did after all, write and successfully publish a heap more than I have up to this point.

Writing and obsessing over my tendency to pack on the pounds now that I’m on the wrong side of 45 and at home fulltime, fills much of my day. I try to balance the two—not to mention housework (not much obsessing there) and keeping the dogs and my husband from feeling neglected, and friends and updating my blogs and adding followers to Twitter and Shoutlife…

How did Agatha do it all?

She didn’t even have a Blackberry to keep her organized. Forget about Microsoft Word and a Dell mini for when she was on the road. Yet she managed to produce some pretty amazing stuff that writers like me still study and emulate.

So maybe she didn’t obsess over her thighs. Maybe she said, “What the heck?” and called downstairs for a scone and went on pumping out the magic. Since I don’t have servants to fetch goodies, I’ll strive to exercise a little discipline to stay in the chair and out of the kitchen and let my characters obsess over their thighs.

Back to work.


  1. Ha! Well put! It does amaze me how the writing process has changed even since I was a young girl...and I am only 31. :-)

  2. Must take many kitchen breaks when I write. MUST. Lots of iced tea with good ice. Usually something crunchy, like nuts or real thin crispy apple slices, or carrots and hummus dip, or, on occasion, a few chips or cheese and crackers.

    I love your speculations here. And the fact you picked Agatha. Well done!

  3. I think she didn't obsess over her thighs... She probably wrote in her head while baking!