I sympathized with her because I, like most people, find myself in this situation frequently.
But for once, I felt like I could actually give her some sound advice. Just that week, I had turned down two rather important offers-- one dealing with my kids' school, and another with more editing-- and I actually felt fine about it.
There are times to say yes, and moments when we have to do more in 24 hours than should be legally allowed. But because writing is important to me, I've learned to say no in order to focus on just that. I understand we are here to love, give and serve. I get that. But, we’re also to do what’s in front of us to the best of our abilities. If we’re overburdened, how then does this really work?
This is all so easy to write and not actually do though. Believe me, I've been there... and being a people pleaser, for me saying no can be hard. However, it does get easier. When someone asks something of us, we have to ask ourselves, “To whom does it benefit?”
If it is to help people, well sure, I'm all for that. Yet, realistically, one person can only do so much! And if it in turn burns out the very person whom everyone is so intently relying on, that does absolutely no one no good.
My answer to my writer-friend was to learn to say no. Not because she has to, but because she needs to in order to feel like her head is above water! If writing is my passion, or being published a goal, then my thoughts and actions should focus on that.
Of course, life is full of things we have to do that have nothing to do with our immediate goal. But to get to that destination, there are times when we need to be selfish; where we need to say no for our own good.
Boundaries are there to serve us. But it's up to us to implement them. Your blog, article or book will thank you. And you’ll thank yourself too.