Every now and then, I find I need to remind the folks I know and love that the operative word in the phrase, "working from home" just happens to be "working." And since the majority of folks I know and love have barely the slightest notion what process goes into writing fiction, I sometimes need to remind them that writing is indeed work.
This time, I wanted to take a lighter approach. I offer my wording here in case it might help another writer find a constructive way to keep family and friends from killing their career with love, kindness, or carelessness:
Hey, my darlings, just a quick heads-up:
For most weeks, Monday through Friday, I will not be answering my phone, text messages, or email between 11am and 4pm. These are my work hours.
A longer explanation:
Let's say you work on the 35th floor of an office building, but the only way people can contact you is to call the phone that is on the ground floor.
Fortunately, it's understood you can't answer that phone in a timely manner from the 35th floor, so the building is equipped with an express elevator that whisks you from your office to the ground floor. The phone rings and -whoosh!- you're right by the phone!
Unfortunately, the elevator goes only one way: down. To get back to your office, you must climb 35 flights of stairs. It doesn't matter if what called you to the ground floor needed one minute or thirty minutes. You still have to climb the same number of stairs to get back to work.
My writing brain lives on the 35th floor.
Thank you for understanding. :)