Rantings of a Frustrated Author

I don’t work outside the home, but sometimes I wish I did. Maybe if I worked somewhere else, I could get something done. I could go the day without dealing with phone calls, people coming to the door and other interruptions that always seem to happen to me. Yes, I would still have those things, but they would be work related. I could devote work time to work details.

I can’t do that at home. The phone rings and the caller wants to chat. They talk and talk and talk. They don’t seem to think that my time is as valuable to me as theirs is to them. It’s convenient for them, so it’s surely a good time for me.

It’s not.

If I’m not at a writing group, fixing a meal or running errands, I’m at my desk doing one of the many, ceaseless jobs that make mine more than a full time job. I hit my desk around 10:00 AM every morning, except for meal breaks and the occasional bathroom visit, I’m there until around 1:00 AM the following morning.

What am I doing in all that time? Twitter posts, Facebook posts, comments, discussions. I’m making the tour of websites helping promote them, I’m working on street teams for other author friends – liking and sharing their posts. Every once in awhile, if I’m very lucky, I get to write! I spend a large portion of my day getting other crap out of the way so I can get some writing time. That usually doesn’t happen until around 10:00 PM

I don’t like being on the phone. I’ve said this many times. What most people don’t know is why. Back in 1988, I had surgery for a benign tumor in my neck. It was on the middle sympathetic nerve ganglion. It was tricky surgery, but I had the world’s most amazing surgeon and he took good care of me. What could have been a disaster, requiring years of therapy and plastic surgery, he miraculously prevented.

However, this surgery left me with some odd and uncomfortable effects which linger even now. 1. I don’t sweat evenly – for awhile it was 1/2 my body, now it’s only from about the neck up. 2. Areas of numbness alternating with areas of extra sensitivity – exacerbated by a blown disc in 2000, which did some minor nerve damage on the same side. 3. A sensitive left jaw & ear. 4. Patches of numbness on my left cheek, again, alternating with extras sensitivity. 5. Permanently blown left pupil. Also, the eye is very sensitive to light. If I’m gonna get a migraine, this is where it starts.

The blown disc, repaired in 2001, contributed to the areas of numbness & sensitivity as well as shoulder pain that will never go away. I am a left ear person when I’m on the phone. Lots of reasons – mostly so I can write or use the mouse to play solitaire when I get stuck on a long call. Also, I hear REALLY well and no phone in my house is quiet enough. My left ear isn’t as acute, I can tolerate voices better with that ear than the right.

Eventually, it gives out. This is usually about 30 minutes into a conversation. That’s it. I’m done. But other people aren’t. They want to keep talking. I’ve reached my limit. There is little I want more than to be out of that call. But I’m nice. I put up with it. I’m not sure why I allow this torture, but I do. Maybe it’s a form of misplaced martyrdom? Perhaps I feel that there’s something wrong with me and I should enjoy this conversation, so I force myself to?

Whatever the case, I’ve had my fill and I can’t get out of that call without resorting to rudeness. I don’t like being rude. I’ve noticed that people will respond to it and do what I want, but I don’t want to be one of those people. You know the ones I mean, the people who are constantly rude and abrupt. One thing I’ll give those folks, no one takes advantage of them. But that’s not me.

However, starting today, I’m doing things a bit differently. The phone is unplugged. It’s going to stay that way until I feel like plugging it back in. Which may be never, to be honest. That’s it. I’m done. After eight calls yesterday – from only two people, I might add – I’ve had enough. I felt horrible anyway, after a night of no electricity and no sleep, all I wanted was a nap. I didn’t get it because of the phone. None of them were short calls either.

I’ve become the Bitchy Author Hermit and I’m going to get a T-shirt with BAH in 10 inch letters on the front. I’m going to figure out how to use the answering machine that came with my phone and I’m going to put a message on there so people will continue to leave me alone even after it’s plugged back in.

I’m willing to exchanged texts as long as they don’t go on forever. That gets on my nerves too. But I can ignore a text. It will still be there when I feel like dealing with it. It can also be deleted if I don’t.


Dellani Oakes is a slightly crazy author who gets even more crazy the longer she’s on the phone. To find her books, click here

6 thoughts on “Rantings of a Frustrated Author

  1. Pingback: Rantings of a Frustrated Author | karenwritesmurder

  2. I have these issues, except, for me it’s blogging, writing my book, or helping some poor author who’s about to be screwed by some company/editor/agent. Then there’s the family, they come right into my bedroom/ office and just babble away. I figured I might move to the middle of nowhere, when I need to write. I can move back to the city when I’m done. 😀

  3. I’m all for starting an author commune where we hire someone to come in and clean & cook and we just hie ourselves to our little hidie holes and only come out when we want to.

  4. !. I’m with you about the phone. I don’t answer the home phone anymore, and my cell tells me who it is so I can ignore it and call them back later. 2. Leaving my house for a coffee shop, park bench, cemetery, or sub shop gets me started writing, with some peace. 3. Back problems and eye problems plague me as well. I’ve fashioned a standing desk (crate on a desk for my laptop) and take short breaks to walk on the treadmill for movement and circulation. I require breaks from staring at a computer to spare my eyes.

    With my hero Elmore gone, I ask now: what would Elmore do? I imagine his response would be one of serving the work before serving the vampires of your time.

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