Like many of you I have a family that sometimes nudges at my writing time. Not with day to day regularity anymore since my three children are grown and mostly :) out of the house. Any time I don't take to write on a regular basis I blame strictly on myself and my procrastination gene. However I sometimes have house guests, always family from far away, come to visit and find myself aching for time alone to write or ponder. Right now my parents are visiting from back East and my youngest daughter, too. They are here to help celebrate my middle child's graduation from college. She's the one who did the awesome dragon and ivory tower picture for me. So it's definitely something to celebrate. And living in Colorado I don't get to see my family very often, so it's a treat for me. But then there's the writing time or lack there of. Here are some ways that I cope:
1. Read for pleasure. Somehow it's not quite as to rude to dip my nose in a good book while everyone else is watching TV than it is for me to excuse myself and lock myself in my office. Yes, I know that watching TV is not really "entertaining" company, but it is a way to relax after a busy day out and about in more than mile high oxygen deprevation. Besides, it's always good to feed your muse and catch up on what everyone else is writing out there.
2. Read a book on writing. This feels like a better compromise to me. It's feeding your writing education and reading too. Right now I'm reading Chapter after Chapter by Heather Sellers.
3. Discuss books with your guests. My mom and I often read completely different fiction so it's interesting to find out what she enjoys reading and why. And I can tell her why I like the romance fiction that I read so much. This goes the same for my dad. Both of my parents, really my whole family, have an interest in how my writing career is progressing. This gives us a way to talk about that without it being all about me. :)
4. Even if it's just writing a page in a journal or posting something online, like blogging :), find a way to write a little something every day. It keeps your brain and fingers in sync and you feel like you actually accomplished something.
5. Finally, enjoy your company. Remember that writing comes from life. Live it, embrace it, then allow it to enrich your writing. I try to remember details, feelings, the way the light fell, the way my grandson's hand looks juxtaposed against my mother's, or how he has my dad's eyes. The richness of our lives informs our work and helps to take it to the next level, helps the readers to connect with out words, and fills the creative well.
What do you do when company comes? How do you satisfy both your muse and your need to be with your guests?