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Priorities and Procrastinators

It's that time of year---again. Weddings. Bridal Showers. Rehearsal Dinners. First Communion. Confirmation. College Graduation. High School Graduation. Kindergarten Graduation. Day Care Graduation. Mother's Day. Father's Day. Memorial Day.

With so many celebrations going on, when is there time to work? Yes, I said work, because writing---and marketing, and editing, and book signings---are work. It's how writers earn their living. People who work for others certainly know when it's time to work because their employers tell them. But how do writers stay focused?

How do you maintain a reasonable work schedule amidst the chaos?

All of the above is, of course, in addition to the usual list of family, friends, and neighbors who see working from home as "working" from home---meaning that we writers can just drop what we're doing at any time to run a quick errand, comfort a friend in need---the one who is heartbroken over her third boyfriend loss this week---help a neighbor with the crisis of the day. None of these people would dream of calling a family member, friend, or neighbor at a workplace outside the home. But they will call you because you are "working" from home.

How do you respond to these requests in a way that lets you maintain your work schedule and not alienate everyone you know?

Charlotte Phillips is the co-author of the Eva Baum Detective Series, many short stories, and contributor to multiple blogs. Learn more about Charlotte, her books, and her short stories at:

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  1. I recently retired from my day job. So I told everyone I would be keeping the same work schedule --8 to 4 six days a week and Sunday would remain my family day.
    So far it's working.

    Giggles and Guns

  2. Finally, after all these years, my family has learned that when I am in my office working, I am really working. But it helps that the kids are all grown with lives of their own. LOL

    When busyness strikes here, I still try to get work done, but I shorten my time in the office. I used to do 9 to 4 pretty faithfully, but on a holiday like today, I will shorten that to about 4 hours and spend the rest of the day having fun. That's what holidays are for, right?

  3. I just make sure that at this time of year I have different commitments. This month: writers conference (have to go! on the board!), writing retreat for women I host (have to go! I host!), help my sister drive her furniture in a rented truck cross country (she needs me! and it's research for the next book!) get the picture. Yes, I did fit my son's graduation in there. But in general I ten to counter other obligations with ones that support my own goals!

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