Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Respecting my time

The other morning I was working in my cafe when my landlord called.

Technicians had been at the house the day before, installing cable for my new upstairs neighbor. They hadn't finished the job properly, wires were exposed to the elements, and a storm was on the way. My landlord was concerned my neighbor and I were going to lose internet access, so asked if I could call the technicians.

My cafe is only down the street from my house, and I really didn't want to lose the internet, so I didn't think to question my landlord. But I was steamed. I had been right in the middle of a scene, and now I had to drop everything, walk home, and call my internet provider.

I bumped into my landlord in front of the house. I asked if he had called my upstairs neighbor. "No," he said. "She works full time, so I really didn't want to bother her when you were around."

Then he looked at me, noticed my coat and bag, and said, "Sorry, I thought you were home."

"I was just at the cafe down the street," I said.

"Must be nice having a life of leisure," he said.

I went inside then, because if I had talked with him any longer I might have snapped. Honestly, it's not entirely his fault. He doesn't know I'm writing. But still, life of leisure?!

I called the technicians, spent twenty minutes arguing on the phone, before finally realizing there was no way they'd come out to the house on my request, as the job was connected with my upstairs neighbor's account.

I went outside and wrapped a plastic bag over the wires. Then I called my landlord to tell him to do what he should have done originally: call my upstairs neighbors.

By the time I sat down to finish my scene, I had lost an hour of writing time.

But at least my lesson was learned. Next time my landlord calls during my work hours, I'm not answering the phone.

If I don't respect my time, how can I expect anyone else to?


  1. What a frustrating work day you had. There are some that won't get it. Ever. You just have to say, "I'll see if I can get to it when I finish my work," or some such. Eventually, it should sink in. No, is also an option :)

  2. How irritating!!!
    Hope the rest of your writing week goes super well to make up for it.

  3. Andrea: It WAS frustrating--but nice to be able to vent on the blog to my writing friends who DO get it! But you're right, that is exactly what I need to do... I think I'm too easily distracted and probably a little too eager to please. But working at it!

    Sarah: Thanks! Strangely enough, it kind of has so far...

  4. That just about describes what it’s like before or unless you are well known for your creative endeavors.
    The other side of this ‘you’re not working’ business happens also. I have a friend who told me I must have a special place to write, and offered me their family cabin way out on the boondocks during the week, when they are not there. That, of course, means the rest of my life (kids, husband, home, and all this involves) do not exist.
    We relate.

  5. I don't answer the phone during my writing time--unless it's my agent or an editor. I'll always answer their calls. But others can wait. My writing time is my writing time.

  6. Mirka: Wow, why don't I have friends like that?! How fabulous! I'm so jealous! But also happy for you to have found such a perfect writing office!

    Kelly: Exactly, what's what I need to do! Well, first I need to get an agent and editor, then that's exactly what I need to do. ;)

  7. Your last line says it all!

    I get really grumpy when I'm yanked out of a scene when I'm not ready to "leave." I totally relate!



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