Up until the moment I started publishing my books, I was a homemaker, a housewife. I came and went as my children’s schedules allowed. I went shopping at will, went to lunch regularly, had my home open to anyone who wanted to stop by. I met friends for coffee or had friends stop by for lunch and to chat. I texted and chatted on the phone all day long. It was great. I loved it.
Now that all three of my kids are in school, I consider myself working full time. Unfortunately, I’m working from home and for myself, which means that people still have this idea that I’m always available. But, that’s not the case.
At 9AM, I turn my cell phone off. My cell number used to be our main house number, so it’s the first go-to number anyone uses for calling us. It’s off. If Kaylee has an emergency and needs to text, she texts Gregg. Otherwise, she calls the house number. The only calls I answer on the house number during the day are from Gregg, Kaylee, or one of the schools. That’s it.
I am unavailable. I don’t chat online. I don’t read messages or emails. I don’t even throw in a load of laundry at any point. I just work. Non-stop.
I don’t have the kind of job where I can chat on the phone while typing on the computer, or that I can stop in the middle of it and reply to and/or send a text. The way I write requires no interruption, no pull from the fictional world of my muse back to reality. Constant interruptions break my muse and make me absolutely unproductive during the day.
So, I go into my office, put the classical symphony radio station on Pandora, plug in my earphones, and work.
But, people have been used to me being accessible for so long, and they don’t understand that interrupting me can throw my entire writing day off. I think if I packed up work and went to an office every day, there would be more of a “she’s not available” mindset.
The last couple of days, I’ve missed a few texts and people have been kind of upset over it. Here’s the thing: I’m not available. Call me, text me, write me, or visit me after 3PM. I’m good then. My work day is over and I would LOVE to hear from you.
I also have a standing “coffee” date with a friend every time I finish a book. We meet after we drop kids off and end up staying at a restaurant until we need to get lunch — catching up, gabbing, not looking at the clock or my computer screen. It’s wonderful. But I only do that in between books.
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