You are thankful that everyone wants to hear from you, but you do not have time to get back to all the questions. You can always send out a “bulk” e-mail stating you have other projects ahead and will get back as soon as you can. But, think again. This will sometimes offend people and earn you a title of “…..”, and you can fill in any words you want.
Why not send a short e-mail to everyone and suggest a date you can meet with their requests? We all want answers, PDQ, and seldom get them at the time we think we should. Maybe if we stopped and did a little planning, this would not happen and the “NO” would turn into “WHAT IF?”
Our writing lives are like our personal lives. We have to plan for the unexpected, while at the same time trying to keep to a schedule. Yuck, the word schedule hits home. When I worked full-time, I lived my life in bits and pieces; yet I managed to accomplish things. Yeah, I stayed up later than usual, or got up earlier than usual, (prefer the later), but I never questioned the reasons. Certain things had to be done or the….or else. I preferred the done part.
After I retired, did I feel relaxed? No. Here’s that word again. I wanted to, but the years of schedules, deadlines, or else crept back into my world. In fact they never left. All of a sudden, kinda like “wham, bam, and thank you,” everyone wanted more and more of my time. The funniest part, I wanted schedule back in my life. If I knew what had to be done, I could do it, and I’m still that way.
So, in a calm tone, either in person, on the phone, or online, I begin to let my friends, acquaintances, and enemies know about my life after retirement. Yes, I do not have to report at a certain time, but my time is more valuable now. I am able to work with programs, people, organizations, and volunteer, which I was not able to do when the full-time job became my life.
There are days, even weeks, when my writing haunts me. I sit at my computer for hours and not even know the time, or feel hungry, but do get up to use the little room off the hall. This is what my job is now…..writing, writing, writing. My schedule is to publish, publish, publish. This is not an easy task and I try to make every attempt to get back to all.
So to all of you, have patience. I will return all your e-mails, answer all your questions, BUT…when I can. I never say ‘NO,” only “LATER.” And, make a good note, I might be in my p.j.s’ but unless you Skype, you’ll never know.
How do I say NO? I do not use the word, but hint for a belated answer.
Happy Writing and remember, I’ll be back.