Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Breaking the Family In

It's been exactly a week since I've been dubbed a publisher author. My life has changed slightly as far as juggling things and I'm sure before too long, it's going to change a lot more. I haven't received my revisions yet, but I know they're coming. =crawls under desk= For those of you who really know me--you know that I have a very needy family and some of my friends are the same way--needy. I'm testing them this week. '-) and so far they're failing. Well, my grandmother is. I love her dearly, but she sucks the life out of me some days. It's amazing to me that I have to repeat myself several times during a phone conversation and yet someone will IM me and she'll hear the faint ding and it's "What's that?" My police scanner or television will sound off--usually it's a male voice--"Who's there?" One of the kids will say something three rooms away: "What are they yelling about?" My lovely mother got brave last night: "Mom, how in the hell do you hear all of these noises when you can't hear ME half the time?" "What did SHE say?" I ask, giggling, knowing the response is going to be most excellent. From Mr. & Mrs. Smith:
John Smith: Did you hear the helicopter dropping me off that night for our anniversary dinner? Jane Smith: No. Oh, percussion grenades. I was partially deaf that evening. "I just pick up on things," she said. Yes, yes you do because you're insanely nosy! So, any advice on how I can nicely tell family and friends that revisions are not going to be my friend and they need to respect it when they get the answering machine and no more guilt trips or planning things without asking first?


Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Yes, you gently but firmly tell them that you're under contract now and that if you don't deliver you'll be in breach of contract and get a bad name with your employer.

This isn't fun-n-games anymore. It's your job. You are officially a professional writer.

Repeat calmly as often as you have to. And remember Dear Abby's wise words: no one can take advantage of you or make you feel guilty without your permission.

11/22/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Donica Covey said...

Tell them all with a kind and gentle smile to FLOCK OFF.. (except when it's me...LOL) Seriously I agree with Ann, this is now your JOB and you are treating it seriously, you expect others to treat it seriously. Explain that its as if you were working in an office or working in a shop, it's completely out of line for them to just jump in and expect you to drop it all for them. Then if they don't get it, go with option A a hearty FLOCK OFF!!!

Luv ya!

11/22/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Danica said...

Well, listen to the pubbed ones, LOL. I definitely agree that you have to be firm with them, that this is your job. One thing I heard somewhere (don't remember where, so don't know who to credit it to) is that you can also set "office hours" where they are not allowed to disturb you. You're fair game during other times, but during your writing time, they need to leave you alone. Recently, I started giving myself one night a week where I leave the house, go to BN cafe, buy myself a big cup of tea, and write to my heart's content without the family to bother me.

11/23/2005 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Rae said...

Thanks to all of you!

I know, between Abby and Dr. Phil's speel on we teach people how to treat us...I know, it's me.

LOL@ telling them to flock off!

Danica, I'm so glad you're getting some writing time in and by yourself time is always fun to have. I get that in the mornings and afternoons while my kids are in school. Now, the only thing left to do is train my brain to write during the day instead of way into the night.

11/23/2005 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger Trace said...

Oh Rae. You need to be strong and firm. This is your passion and a career you're trying to build and need to take seriously. They need to take it seriuosly too, and respect your space and privacy.

Maybe you need to set boundaries. Like when you don't answer the phone, you're writing, and unless it's an emergency you can't be disturbed. Or have specific writing hours during which you aren't to be disturbed.

IT's hard to be firm with those we love, but it's absolutely essential. Otherwise you'll end up getting angry and resenting them.

11/23/2005 08:57:00 AM  

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