It’s Okay To Say No

Not only is it okay to say no, but its essential that you say no … and as often as possible. You’re a full time writer. You’d gone years working full time at a day job and writing whenever you can eke out a few minutes here and a few minutes there. Well, now you’re a published author and able to quit that day job in order to write full time and fulfill that dream most authors have.Guilty Woman

But suddenly, you’re fair game. The neighbor has a sick kid and she needs to be at work. Would you mind watching little Timmy for a few hours? After all, you’re home all day. You’re not doing anything important.  You sputter out about deadlines, revisions, edits, but that’s all lost on deaf ears as said neighbor prances out the door, confident that she’d found the perfect solution to her dilemma. Or there’s a day where the schools are closed, be it a single day or a week for Spring Break. Not only do you have your own children home from school, but it seems that every neighbor kid has decided to make your house their base of operations with the blessings of their parents.  After all, you’re not doing anything.

Or there’s old Mr. Smith who needs a lift to his doctors appointment. Won’t take long. But between the initial transportation, the waiting time and the return journey, you just burned up an entire morning that could have been used working on your book.  But that’s okay.  You’re not doing anything.

Now, personally, I’m not a stay at home writer, but I do work part time. Full days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with Tuesday and Thursdays off. Still, I can imagine the potential of family, friends and neighbors taking advantage to our stay at home status. It may start out slowly, a day here and there, but it can accelerate quickly, until you’re finding it impossible to get any writing done.

Guilty Woman.3This is where you gotta learn the value of saying “no”. You have to make it clear to family and friends that this is your job. The job that brings in your income and puts food on your table. You don’t have time to play chauffeur to Mr. Smith or to watch little Timmy when he’s sick.  You need to put in eight hour days.  Exactly like that full time day job outside the home.

So … this is a question for those full time authors out there. Do you find yourself caught in this position, and if so, what did you have to do to extricate yourself from it?

About Liz Kreger

Liz Kreger writes science fiction/romances and to date, has two books published by Samhain Publishing ... FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW and PROMISE FOR TOMORROW. Liz is presently branching out to contemporary paranormals and is experimenting with urban fantasy.
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9 Responses to It’s Okay To Say No

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    I find myself in that position too much, and I think most of it is my own mindset. That I’m home and can do the shopping and my chores during the day, and that takes priority over my writing. I am changing that, at least I’m writing first. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do right now. 🙂

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Good for you, Edie. It’s not so much the chores that gotta get done. They need to be done at some point in the day. Its the people who seem to think you’re lolling around watching daytime television and eating bon-bons. Obviously you’d have nothing better to do than to do countless errands and offer free babysitting.

  2. Mary Hughes says:

    Great post, Liz! I have a computer consulting business so I learned early to guard billable hours 🙂 No billable hours, no eat, lol. But its still hard for me to say no.

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Ah, so you have experience with saying no, Mary. Good for you. Gotta set those boundaries early or you’ll get time sucked in no time.

  3. It’s easy to get sidetracked when you work from home. There are always chores to do, errands to run, etc. You definitely have to protect your work time.
    Jennifer Estep`s last blog was …It’s not the book, it’s me …

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Protecting work time is a good way to put it, Jenn. I used to be able to get up at 4:00 a.m. and get in a solid two hours of work in before the household stirs, but those days are gone. With the treatment I’m under its all I can do to get in enough sleep. Still, with those Tuesday and Thursdays off, its far too easy to spend them running around doing errands.

  4. Dale Mayer says:

    For me having kids at home a lot of the time just adds to the problem. And parents close by. After all, I’m not working at a real job – am I. lol.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Launch Party Winners!

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Having kids at home is different, Dale. Not much choice but to squeeze in writing time when you can … at least until they’re old enough to understand boundaries. I have a sign on my home office door that says “Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot twice.” 👿 When that door is shut, my 14 year old daughter knows not to interrupt.

  5. Emmy Curtis says:

    Most people are pretty respectful of my time, but I still feel the need to actually leave the house to write. I think that’s mostly because if I’m in the house I can’t help but see all the things I *should* be doing because ‘I’m at home all day’. Laundry, vacuuming, cleaning…sometimes it’s just easier to head out to the library to write. Or Panera. Or the Olive Garden… Hmmm soup today I think!
    Emmy Curtis`s last blog was …So, what the hell IS a Pararescuer?

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