This is a conversation I had with a friend not so long ago.
Friend: Hey, I'm having a dinner thing tonight around six.
Me: Thanks for calling.
Friend: Of course, I don't actually expect you to come but I thought I'd tell you anyway.
Me: Very funny.
That is a very small example of some of the conversations I've had in the two and a half years I've been in Japan. I fully expect to turn up to a party one day and have everyone turn around and ask me what I'm doing there, even though I was invited. This is why I'm called the Hermit, as I've mentioned before.
But jokes aside, I think it's a question of priorities. I gave up a highly paid job to have more time to write, so if I have to make a choice between a social event and writing, it's not really a choice.
What's at the top of your list? I'm thinking about selfish 'do it for yourself' things, so you can't say your family. That's a given. I'm talking things aside from that, that you do just for you, like reading, watching t.v., knitting, writing, dancing...the list goes on. Have you ever thought about where your focus is and whether it needs to change? Or has it always been apparent to you that your priorities are exactly what they should be?
And if you're a writer, would you be willing to give up all the other extraneous things to have more time to write?