I am in a slightly different position than most of my counterparts at the brothel. First, I’m a guy. I know, shocking, right? Second, I’m a widower. I have no children. Hell, I don’t even have a goldfish. It’s just me.
So managing my time should be easy, right?
Yeah. No. I wish.
Here’s the thing. I don’t live on an island. I live in my hometown. That means I have family here. Several siblings, actually. Not a one of whom would deliberately interfere with my job. The thing is, now and then we talk. I’m one of those people who, regardless of the time, automatically answer the phone when my siblings call. It’s a worst case scenario mindset, you see. Any member of my family calls, and the first thing my mind tells me is that I have to answer it, because it might be a serious situation. Someone had a car wreck, someone is in the hospital, the list goes on and on. Understand, by the way, that my family is an extended thing. There are a handful of friends and close associates who qualify in the same category. They call, I answer.
That’s as rough as it gets with me.
I have a day job. The hours can be a bear. I have my writing. Now and then people call. A lot of times when people want to get together, I have to decline. That's by choice. I like having tight deadlines and that means I understand that sometimes my people time goes out the window.
Mostly I manage to keep up with the issues.
But I’ve also given more than one person the following advice: it’s your life, too. Yes, I know the kids are important. Of course they are. If they are old enough to understand the concept of needing some time to do work, they should understand the concept of needing to sit and write. Same as going off to a day job, only the office might be on a private room in the house, in the kitchen, in the living room.
There are exceptions, of course. Actual family emergencies always take precedence and sometimes teh emergency is in the form of someone really needing an ear to bend. The advantage with writing is you can often make up the time. But you still need to manage it.
My wife always understood that she came first. She also understood that now and then I had to burn a few extra hours a day at the computer. The time I kicked out a novel in three weeks? We saw each other for roughly one hour a day that qualified as together time. It sucked. I saw my wife first thing in the morning, while we ate dinner and for a solid half hour at night. The rest of the time was writing or working an eight hour shift at the day job.
It also was necessary at that time. And it was short term. Long term we managed a bit more together time.
If writing is a hobby, you can put it aside should you need to. If it is a career, or if you intend for it to be a career, then the family needs to understand that. Everything Jeffe said? Sound advice. The lady knows her stuff.