by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure
Recently, I found myself in a hotel room, alone for a two-night stay. While I was there, I indulged in an epic writing binge, cranking out 11,000 words in one day. For a frame of reference, that’s what I’d normally write in a week, and one of my novels is 80,000 words. When talking on the phone with The Husband that evening, he asked what needed to happen for me to write that much every day.
The answer is room service. And hotels.
A hotel day begins with someone bringing me a pot of coffee. From the very first, I am not fussing in the kitchen. I am indulging. The day stretches ahead of me, wide open. I’m assured the basics of life stuff will be taken care of by someone else, so I can focus completely on my work.
Breakfast arrives with a phone call, and disappears with one as well. Same with lunch—if I have it. Or dinner—if I have it. There is no coordination of my hunger and schedule with someone else’s. Without having to stop and make a meal, then eat the meal, and then clean up after the meal, I not only save an hour or so of writing time, but I am also not jolted out of a character’s romantic adventures to wash up pots and pans.
At hotels, there are no dogs to walk and someone else cleans up. In other words, instead of it being that I am taking care of my pack, someone else is completely taking care of me. And look what I accomplish when that happens—a week’s worth of work and creativity in one day.
I actually enjoy cooking, and even cleaning. I adore my pack and my walks with the dog. But in the same week of this magnificent hotel stay, I read that article in The Atlantic about women “having it all” or not. I take a certain amount of pride in being able to keep everyone alive and fed, with the bills paid, while writing. But I still want to live at a hotel.
Maya Rodale is the author of multiple historical romance novels, as well as the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. She has a Master’s degree from New York University and lives in Manhattan with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.Her latest book is The Tattooed Duke. Learn more at mayarodale.com.
Room Service Photo by Will Merydith
So true. I’m trying to finish the first draft of a book before going on vacation and the other day thought I should go on vacation to finish the writing. I adore cooking and tolerate cleaning but it does interupt the day, not the mention the time devoted to laundry. Congratulations on your two day quota!
Ok except that is not a picture of your real breakfast because there would not be BANANA’s in it. Dear Readers, Maya Rodale has never eaten a banana in her life! It was probably some sort of eggs and bacon is my guess.
Exactly! Near exhaustion from getting my home ready to function without me during my absence, getting my presentation ready for the program and just plain getting myself pulled together with hair, nails (I’m a gardener), correct clothing, etc. it was delightful to accept the comfort of room service. I was rested and somewhat sane in time to go back home. Super great!
It was pancakes, actually! Love that I’m not the only one who enjoys the comfort of room service!
Maya, again I congratulate you on your outstanding word count achievement. I’m still in awe. Now I find that you don’t eat bananas and I have to say I’m a little in, non-romantic, love. I too despise the fruit and was always made to feel like such a freak of nature in my family because I won’t touch them. Now I collect names of others who do not like them so I can throw it in the “haters” faces and I shall add yours to the list while I wait with bated breath for your next novel.
Of course this is an argument for living in Regency times as one of the rich and noble. Fancy having 50 servants to take care of the mundane chores of life. No wonder so many of the novels written then were so long they came out in 3 volumes! Nowadays even duchesses do their own shopping. The Duchess of Rutland uses Asda! That is part of Walmart.
I have always believed that, as a wife, mother, and former secretary, I could have gotten a lot more done, if I’d had a ‘wife’and a secretary of my own! In fact, I could still use both, but, with that said, room service is my next favorite luxury.
I have lived in and out of hotels for many years now, thanks to the work of my darling husband. I wouldn’t trade that service for all of the tea in China and India! I love when I am in Europe, and in some of the best hotels, and get the great service, food, cleaning, laundry service, you name it! I go in and out at will, eat and drink at will, sleep at will, do everything at will. It is so pleasant not to have to deal with the day-to-day menial, but necessary chores of home. I was just in Berlin, Germany in May at the Adlon Hotel close to the Brandenburg Gate. You can’t beat that service!! I need another stay soon!
Jonathan, yes, I think that’s why historical romance featuring the upper classes with fleets of servants is so popular! Also, lol on the three volumes!