Have you made sacrifices for your career? Lost friends? Not spent as much time with loved ones as you might have liked? Taken less vacations? Become more sedentary than is good for your health?
Writing is a solitary profession. No one understands the cost involved or why we spend hours hunched over the computer. No one warned us about the time we’d spend setting up book events, creating book trailers, preparing workshops, answering fan mail, writing blogs, and updating our websites. Even my maid remarked recently, “You spend a lot of time at home.”
I tried to explain how this is my job. It requires hours of hard work like any other small business. As far as accepting social invitations, I’m guarded of my time because it’s so precious, and I never seem to have enough minutes in the day. I guess this makes me more of an “All work and no play” type of gal, but we writers feel guilty when we’re not at the computer, right? And when I really want to play, I go to Disney World or on a cruise. Every other time is work time, and lunches with friends or an occasional mah jong game become breaks from the daily grind. Other writers understand this compulsion. They’re just as eager to return to work after time away from home, whether it’s writing or marketing their various projects. Or am I the only nutcase out there?
How do you deal with people who figure you’re home all day so you should be available to chat on the phone for a half hour or go out for an impromptu coffee date or pick up their purchase for them at a store twenty minutes away? Do you say yes to everyone, because you’re too nice to refuse, come up with an excuse, or say you’re working? Have you been tempted to retire from writing so you can have a life of leisure and hang out with your friends all day? So you can leave the desk behind and “have fun” instead with your spouse who relies on your companionship? What has your career cost you?