We owe it to ourselves…

writeratworkAs I’ve mentioned in past posts, I have a problem with my family (pets included) that don’t respect my writing time. I can literally open a Word document, only to find someone showing up in my office doorway to interrupt with questions or worse, to ask me to do something for them.

I think in particular, writers who are mothers are often victim of this; where the ‘mother hat’ we wear never comes off. You may need to reconsider this, however, as a habit that needs to change. After all, aren’t you a person worthwhile of some time for yourself?

This touches upon teaching your family basic respect; that you not only deserve respect, but that they, as decent human beings, give that respect to allow you that time to write and create. This also helps teach us self-respect, that we can and will speak up for the time to be what we want to be.

A mother (or father, or any role we pick for ourselves)deserves the time to re-energize, relax, and be her own person. This helps make us better people, whole people, not just the single role we play, so they can do a better job at whatever they do.

Some tips to achieve writing time;

Make a sign– You can put a sign on the desk or doorknob, or taped to a hat. Any place where people can see you’re not writing and must not be disturbed (unless there’s an emergency).

It doesn’t need to be a sign as much as a signal to others you’re writing. Wear a special hat or shirt, light a candle near you, or simply announce to your family “I am writing now…so leave me be”.

Consequences and rewards should be given. If you are disturbed, consider handing out some chores for the kids or something unsatisfying for no allowing your writing time. This might seem harsh, but remember, we’re teaching the kids respect of your time and you, as a person. If they respect that time, reward them with a treat, special time together, or other rewards they like to encourage the behavior.

I’m fortunate that my family find my irritancy of being bothered is enough of a deterrent.

What’s your thoughts? Do you demand the time, ask for it, or find some way through juggling time and chores to find that writing time? Comment below.


7 Replies to “We owe it to ourselves…”

  1. I don’t have kids yet, so I don’t think I face this problem as much as you do. I do find that my husband sometimes wants to chat while I’m writing – it doesn’t help that I sit next to him with the laptop when I write. I clearly establish my ‘writing time, please don’t disturb’ by playing some music on my laptop and putting the headphones in. This sort of separates me without walls. He’s good about understanding that when the headphones go in – we can’t talk ’til I’m done. It sounds so mean when I put it that way, but it’s the only way I can write. And really, it’s nicer than just grunting, not listening, when he talks to me.

    But he’s sweet about it, and quite understanding – so I’m blessed. I imagine it’s much more difficult with children, especially when they’re a bit young to understand.


    1. I’m fortunate my son can entertain himself (and prefer it that way) most of the time, but I also have an overly affectionate cat and a needy dog. Add the fact they all have this psychic sense to bother me primarily when I start writing fiction, then I have to pull out the ‘writer at work’ sign. lol
      Thanks for the comment and sharing your own experiences on the topic. 😉


  2. I’m fortunate enough to have a boss that helped work out a schedule that gives me two whole days at home with NO ONE THERE just for writing. Of course, I wish I had more. I used to write everyday, late into the night. But since having a kid, that’s just not possible. I’m also blessed to have a very supportive husband and extended family to watch my son those two precious days. I try to at least lend a few comments on blogs on the days my son and I are home together, but that’s frequently interrupted. (He’s too darn cute to say no. And he’s only 2yrsold, so he wouldn’t understand the whole “it’s Mumma’s writing time” thing.) Just take what we can get, I suppose.
    Best of luck, hun! 😉


    1. I totally agree that when the kids are little, its tough to get that ‘me-time’. When my son was little, his nap time became sacred to me. No one better call or interrupt my time!
      Thanks for the comment, and best of luck on writing time!


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