Tough love talk on how our families and the people who love us most can be the biggest obstacles to getting that writing time. Related: wants and needs, the difference between them and how other people try to tell what ours are.
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Good morning. Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I'm here with my first cup of coffee.
Excellent today is say with me Friday woo June Thirtieth 2023 um and yeah, I'm sorry if you feel personally attacked Christine but yes. We are officially done with June. It's officially halfway through the year I'm sorry I can't help what you have or haven't done with your time. Ah yeah I know I feel you I do I really do and I'm sorry that you got sick that really sucks and the. Airplane shenanigans. That's just it's a lot so you do have my sympathy. It doesn't sound like it that you do um so hi to everyone else. Um a few different things to talk about today. Um I want to. Revisit visit the topic of families and trying to navigate writing time around families and their demands. Ah so I'm going to spend most of my time talking about that.
But first I want to tell you all that there's a really fun event this weekend which is the fae or no fae event. It goes from today through July second. So just um I don't know whatever that is Sunday um, and it's. Yeah, you get. There's a chance to win all these great prize packs, books and gift cards and everything and it's um, basically choosing. Do you choose the path with Fae or with not Fae and there's different heroes that you can follow on a quest and this is all put together by Jessica Butler who is awesome and amazing. And so I'll link to it in the show notes. Check it out. It should be super fun I have 2 books in it. The Fae path Rogue's Pawn and they no Fae path Dark Wizard. so so yeah hope you all enjoy that. Ah I have had I've had a great week so far I I'm hoping I've not jinxing it I've gotten three k every day all four days this week so I am actually going to have the best month I have had since may of 2021 so 2 years really I I'm kind of looking at it and maybe the best word count month I have had since taking over as president of SFWA or I definitely in that timeframe but is that the ah.
Is that a factor it might have been but I am back I am in black I am in my groove I'm so happy to be in my groove um Oneira is coming along the transcript really really hates that word I have to go and find it every time. Um, but yeah, I'm at. Over 58000 words on o nera um, loving this story I know I know you all. so so yes it's clearly the story I'm supposed to be writing. Ah it has so many vibes I did a tweet yesterday of um. Well Taylor Swift lyrics obviously ah that were all about my vibes from this book and I think it's funny how many people just liked it that was just like no context not that everybody you're my tribe out there. It's like yeah yeah. I just going to post some random Taylor Swift lyrics and you all feel me. So um July is going to be I'm gonna be traveling again. It's gonna be fraught I'm gonna go to Tucson for a few days to help take care of my mom. She's having a. Minor medical procedure and I'm going to do my best to keep writing well I'm there you hear that one.
But I may have this draft mostly finished by the time I go there so I could be in revising mode. That's my plan anyway, my plan and I do have one as much as I ever have a plan um and then the week after that we are going on a road trip. Up through Colorado and Wyoming and Montana to see family taking David to visit all of his family see the grandkids do all of those things. So um, yeah, it's gonna be a busy month in July. And then towards the end of July well really not till the beginning of August i'llbe at Willamette Writers and later in August I will be doing a little family vacation for birthdays. We're going to San Diego hang at the beach which will be lovely. And then I have bubonicon and the darlingne Kelly Robson will be staying with me so I'm going to do my best to keep up momentum during July and August um, but I mean it's definitely a factor I get things done when I'm at home. Right? when I didn't keep my schedule on broken instead of let the circle be unbroken. It is let the writing ritual be unbroken so along those lines. Let's talk about family stuff. So.
I've talked about this before but I feel like I haven't talked about it in a while and one of the gals in my patreon in my discord was talking about wanting to you know, get some writing done this summer and she's got a couple of young kids. Kids are home for the summer it's a pain it's a pain in the ass right? You love your kids. You love your family right now this is nothing to do. We're just gonna assume that you love your family and that you want to be with them and all of this but I think especially for women I'm not saying it doesn't happen to men too. But society has a lot of rules about how women especially mothers should behave so this gal was talking about that. She finally had the opportunity to the kids are off at camp or something like that and so she was going to get or maybe just like in the mornings or at camp. So she's looking forward to havingbb several hours of unbroken time to like sink in and think about this book that she's writing and she was so excited and her husband called her and asked her to bring him something that he forgot at work. Something that had to do with one of his hobbies not to do with his work and it would have taken 2 hours for her to drive to his office and get it to him and she I'm so proud of her but I'm I'm like the one oh look. There's a lizard in the background if you're on video.
Lizard crawling across the wall. Um, you know I am the champion of build the fence around your writing so I don't know how much of that was from me coaching her or sort of absorbing some of the other conversations in Discord but she told him no she said no i. I want this is my time to to write on the book you know and and of course there's like the family dynamics in there. There was a little bit of the you'll like he he forgets things sometimes he has you know a busy job and he gets absorbed. And he didn't set himself a reminder or put the thing by the front door. You know like you do these tricks to remind yourself to bring a thing and his fallback was to ask his wife to bring him this and she felt really guilty for saying no and see now. What's important to know about this situation is he was not angry. He was he didn't put pressure on her. He was like oh I understand um and he's a very supportive husband. He's I mean. And I could tell by the way she talks about him. You know that he's great and he wants her to develop this writing career and you know so all of those pieces are in place. But what's important there are a couple of things are important here. 1 is that he asked right? He didn't think oh.
What an imposition this would be to ask my wife to drive 2 hours take 2 hours out of her morning to bring me this thing that I want um and the other thing is that she felt so guilty for saying you know.
Because I feel like as women as mothers. We are not supposed to deny people in our lives the things that they want especially men. And I've touched on this a few times in the last few weeks I talked about it a little bit ago about you like maybe this is what we're talking about when we talk about strong female characters women who draw boundaries in their lives and are willing to tell men and their lives. No I will not put your needs ahead of my needs I will not put your wants ahead of my wants if I will not put your needs ahead of my wants. Let's put it that way because you know we we sort of throw those words around but let's take a moment to look at those you know. Need need means it's essential that you have to have at need is we need air to breathe. We need water to live. We need food to sustain our bodies once are the things that please us we want to sit in the fresh air of the grape. Harbor we want to drink wine. We want to eat lemon cake because those things please us and they make us happy and what happens a whole lot of times is that we have.
Other kinds of needs that are intangible needs right? The need to be creative the need to make our lives meaningful that for other people they translate that as once right, It's not. That I need to work on my book. It's that I want to work on my book according to someone else. Okay, especially our Families. So I'm going to frame it this way myself. Although this is not. How the dynamic with my husband works because he's very good about it. But let's say that he sees me saying I'm going to spend the morning writing as I spend every morning writing and he ah wants me to think about something that he's working on to look at some kind of. Financial Matter. He's going to trying to figure out. Actually this is pretty close to reality. Um, and I'll say I will look at it this afternoon. Well my husband likes things done right now like right when he's thinking about it. He wants it done and and I have to be very firm and I will be like no I am not looking at this. Until I'm done writing for the day it can wait. It is not on fire and this is something That's very much me and I do this as president of SFWA all the time I'm like is it on fire because if it's not on Fire. We don't need to think about it right? this minute which is frustrating because there are a lot of people who their personal.
Sense of urgency means that they want to think about it right now they want to get it handled now so that they can stop worrying about it and it's like no no, not on fire I'm not going to I'm not going to succumb to that because some of that is they perceive it as a need but it's actually a want right. So My husband may want me to look at something for him because he thinks I Just want to write whereas for me. It's actually I need to write right? Um I need to because it's who I am um I need to. Ah, follow a certain ritual in order to get the words down ah in order to be productive the way I want to be since I am a full time writer and I support us with my writing I'm able to justify the need a little bit more right because it's like well. I Need to get this book written in order to make money I need to meet this deadline. Um I need to do this in order to keep the money coming out. Ah and you know when something is connected to money like that to income. Or to other people's deadlines to external deadlines. It's much easier to convince someone that this is an actual need instead of a want. Well when you're a newbie author when you are writing your first book when you're starting out. Um, you don't have those things to cite right.
Um, you don't have a book contract. You don't have an audience waiting for your books. Um, you may not have made any money from your writing at all yet. You may never have finished a book so it becomes much more difficult to make the case for it being a need.
It seems like a what right? it's it's like a hobby a hobby which you know oh I hate that word, right? because it's like a hobby implies that it's what that it's not important. It's like what you're doing to kill time between the things that are actually important. That's the implication. So. What makes this difficult this way is and for her. We'll go back to the example of this friend where she is this is something she needed to do in order to move this forward for herself. She needed this time and he. Had a want that he said oh hey would you put aside what you're doing to please me to satisfy my want and and she said no and she felt bad about it which I'm sorry she shouldn't feel bad about it because she stood up for something that was important to her. And you know and it sounds like he was fine with it. It just it's hard to do these things so one of the things I reference often I love this quote from Jim Morrison and I was clever enough to bring it up ahead of time. So he says when others demand that we become the people they want us to be. They force us to destroy the person we really are. It's a subtle kind of murder the most loving parents and relatives commit this murder with smiles on their faces and that great.
They commit this murder with smiles on their faces. 1 thing about being female in a patriarchal society is that we our our needs are questioned well we are not allowed to. Um, our our needs are subject to the judgment of the patriarchy that men pass judgment on whether or not we need a thing right? You could see this in all sorts of aspects of society right? do you need an abortion do you need birth control do you need that health care ah do um you know in some cases extreme cases. Do you need to eat that much. Um, men are raised to think that they're not only their needs but also their wants are more important. Than anyone else's so this makes it difficult. Um, and I'm not trying to leave you guys out because I know that you struggle with this kind of thing too. You know, especially when you're trying to do something for yourself, right? You know I I need to write this book. Well do you. You need it like you need the air to breathe. Do you need it more than you need this job to support your family so there's a lot of pressures out there. But I think what's really important about that Jim Morrison quote
Is that you know the most loving parents and relatives do this. They murder us with smiles on their faces. We think that because our families love us which they do. They love us our children love us our spouses Love Us. We wouldn't be with them if. They didn't love us. Um, we think that because they love us that they will automatically want for the best for us and in theory they do I mean they can sit there and say oh yes I Know you've always wanted to be a writer. Yes, you should do that. Go go forth and do that you know, go honey I Love you and I want you to have this thing until the moment that it clashes with something that they want and need and in which case they will just try to gently insert their wants and in some cases it can be a test. Um, especially with kids and when I'm coaching people on this kind of thing I I have this conversation with them a lot because they'll say well they're just kids they they don't know what they're doing and let me tell you I promise you they know what they're doing ah children will in particular you know little monkeys. They will play games to make sure that they are more important than anything else that you are doing so the moment you sit down writing they are going to come and see if they can get your attention because it's It's a it's a test right? How much do you?? Love me. Do you love me enough to set aside this thing.
That you're doing to pay attention to me and it's nothing against them. It doesn't make them bad people. It makes them normal human people. But our spouses do this to us our parents do this to us. Um, arguably cats and dogs. Our pets will do this to us because. They love us and they want our attention. They want us to be focused on them and they're not necessarily doing it consciously. But it is a real thing and they will test they will test your resolve and even though you can teach your family.
Over time to respect your boundaries to respect those that writing time they will from time to time test it especially if dere consumed with something that they want ah you know and you know like my husband will still do this to me regularly when he gets. Wrapped up about something and he's like oh but but we have to handle this thing and I'm like not until later not until I'm done writing and sometimes he'll get really annoyed with me and he'll be like well pad agata and I'm like no no look. The deadline is not yet. It does not have to. And just because you want to deal with it now does not mean that I need to set aside what I want and need so it's not easy. Um, but and it does take a whole lot of um I don't like the word selfish. But it does take a willingness to have that shining light. That's another great quote and I didn't look it up ahead of time but it's um and I don't remember the person who said it but it's that our boundaries don't have to be some kind of prickly electric fence. That instead it can be a shining light that radiates out from you saying this is important to me I am worth setting aside this thing that's sacred to me so that's thus end as the sermon for today I hope that.
Is useful in some ways I hope you carry that forward and are able to um, find ways to make that that fence that shining light around. What's really important to you and I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care. Bye bye.