Friday, February 22, 2013

Learn to Say No

I heard these words at a recent writer's conference and I've been thinking about them ever since.

  • Ever been writing and someone calls you to go out to lunch?
  • Ever been asked to be on a committee you weren't really interested in being a part of?
  • Ever want to say no when someone asked you to fill in for them at the elementary school?
Photo by: sboneham, courtesy of Flickr
  • Ever find yourself saying yes so that you won't feel guilty?

Photo by: marc falardeau, courtesy of Flickr
When it comes to saying no, a person really needs to know themselves. For example, you might say yes to lunch even though you have a deadline, or say yes as a committee member because your very best friend in the whole wide world asked you for help. You might say yes because you're on the 'list' or you may even say yes because you just plain don't like how you feel when you say no.

It's okay, I'm working on it too.

Phto by: fotogail, courtesy of Flickr
But there's something you should know.

Just because I'm a writer and I work at home doesn't make my job any less 'real' than people who get in the car and drive to their destination. Sure, I have flexibility and that means that sometimes I can choose to go to lunch or say yes to the committee, but it also means I can say no when I'm up against a deadline, whether the deadline is given to me by someone else, or the deadline is one I've put upon myself.

Why is it that some people think that writers:

Don't have a real job?

It's like we stay home all day, write, and eat bonbons and somehow the children get their needs met, the house gets cleaned, the bills get paid, the shopping gets done...you know, the work gets finished while we're typing.

When I keep my commitments to myself as if I'm keeping the commitment to someone else, (something else I learned recently at the writer's conference) some amazing things start happening! I write more, I respect myself more, and I respect others more.

Who would have thought?

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