I’ve been a writer for fifteen years, five as a full-time writer, and still haven’t figured out how to get the people in my life to view it as a job. Right now, I’m editing a novel to a very tight deadline (in force due to timings with the London Book Fair and they aren’t going to move that for me ;)) so extended hours without interruption are vital.
How do you do it? How do you get people to understand that writing is a job, a very time-consuming job, that needs long periods without interruption? As a professional writer, how do you get people to give your time and work the same respect they give to people who work in an office?
I have friends and family who wouldn’t dream of calling my husband at his office in the middle of the day, but will quite happily call me over trivial matters, every day, despite me suggesting as an alternative, a quick text to ask for a call back when I’m free, or to call after 7pm, which is when I finish for the day. They turn up on the doorstep in the middle of the afternoon, make plans that require endless days off and get annoyed if I resist. Most days, I struggle to get an hour or two uninterrupted. I’ve tried asking nicely. I’ve tried being firm. I’ve even completely lost my temper. Yet a week later, once all the dust has settled, everything is forgotten and it all starts again.
So, how do you manage interruptions without upsetting the people around you?
This may get closed as off-topic, but it is a question regarding the craft of professional writing, focussed on an actual problem, and I’m hoping for some solid practical advice rather than opinion/discussion.