Top ten things I neglect when I'm in the throes of writing:
1. My husband: God knows how I ended up so lucky to have a man who will leave me alone when I tell him "I have to write. No, seriously, put those back on, I have to write." I owe my hubby hours and hours of affection and attention.
2. My cat: Unlike my husband, the cat will not leave me alone. As most other cat/computer owners will tell you, a cat will do everything in its power to make you writing life as difficult as possible, up to and including lying over your arm, biting your typing hands, or, in my case, sitting directly in front of the monitor and putting his paw directly on your nose. "BOOP. I've hit your off switch, Mommy. Time to pet me."
3. The garden: I'm not much of a gardener, but every now and again I make a half-hearted attempt to pull weeds and pretend like I know what I'm doing in my overgrown patch of grass and dirt. Currently, it's looking a little more Darwinian than usual, but at least something is growing.
4. The laundry: Because we like to conserve energy and do all our high-powered chores at off-peak hours, there's a very limited window in which I have to remember to sort, wash and dry clothes. I've discovered it's just easier to own more clothes. Problem solved.
5. Other house chores: I'm not sure when the last time I did a full vacuum and mop was, but I can tell it's been a while by the size of the balls of cat fur accumulating on the stairs. When my office starts to smell like feet, that's when I usually turn the computer off and start a massive cleanup.
6. Friends: I am, in fact, one of those people who would rather stay at home working on sending my imaginary characters off on grand adventures rather than going off with real people to have my own. I think I went for more than a year without really interacting with anyone while I wrote my first novel. I'm working on improving live human to human relations, now.
7. Family: I really don't see my parents enough. Or anyone else, for that matter. It's probably a good thing I don't have kids of my own (though they'd probably be #1b on this list...)
8. Health: Lack of fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and a complete disregard for what I eat have probably not helped my overall health. Since I started writing seriously, I've had more meals of instant noodles in the past five years than I've had my whole life. Thank you, Ichiban, for providing me with 500 calories and 35% of my daily intake of sodium every time I open up your ready-in-ten-minute packages. You have allowed me to keep my word count above 1000 words an evening.
9: Sleep: I love sleep. Seriously, I could sleep for 12 hours a day given the chance. But when I'm on a roll and I'm just banging out my word count, there's no way I can stop. I stayed up until three in the morning while I was in Las Vegas writing in a notebook in the empty race-betting kiosks area once. Some of my earliest writing memories were of me at 16, banging away at the computer, and my mother coming to remind me near 1:00 a.m. that I had school the next day. Thankfully, once I told her I was writing and couldn't stop, she just left me alone. I probably owe her for that. (See #7)
10. Mental health and well-being: When you start dreaming about your characters, or you start talking out loud like them just to see what they would say and how they'd say it; or if you're walking around and plotting your novel instead of paying attention to traffic; or you've just referred to your cat as "that damned hissing sharnalfig*!" it's probably a bad thing. I have to remind myself now and again that that guy who I'm using as a model for my character isn't actually named after my character. I also have to sometimes remind myself that the little town I created was fictional, the people fake, and the situation nonexistent in my own life.
*Note: There are no sharnalfigs in my book or my house, as far as I know. Yet.