Sunday, January 26, 2014

reset

squinty-eyed and mole-like
The book launch - still in progress - is an exhausting, exhilarating, mind-blowing, fascinating and soul-crushing experience.

You hear all this stuff when you're on the other side. The virgin side. About not reading reviews, and about pacing yourself, and about distribution nightmares and sales. And now that the powers that be have announced that there is, indeed, blood on the sheets, the marriage into published has been consummated, I can tell you first hand - it's all true. You go from being in control of everything, to being in control of not that much.

I love Dani Shapiro's thoughts on the difference between the doing and the promoting. She says, "This writer has stepped out from her dark cave — that shadowy, hallowed place where she created her work — and now she is squinting, shading her eyes from the sunlight."

I relate to that quote completely. I love my dark cave. I want to go back there. Not only am I physically fair-skinned and sun-averse, I'm psychically that way. I will say, social media has been a bit of therapy for me - allowing a daily practice of whispering into the vast and clotted world of people and their lives, but my preferred environment is a solitary room, the sun beating on the closed curtains behind me.

This past couple of months my mole self, the squinty-eyed introvert that I am, has been teetering, rather than walking, the tightrope of doing versus promoting. Friends, I am out of balance.

This morning, a Sunday - typically NOT my favorite day of the week due to the parade that it often is - I forced myself to meditate on how to fix this. And I have a start. As always, the remedy to too much promoting, is more doing.

I've started something new. (And yet, even now, when I write that, in my mind is the hashtag way of saying it: #amwriting. God.)

How do you maintain the balance between being part of the larger conversation and talking to yourself?

4 comments:

  1. Oh Suzy…
    I never even intended to publish as Harry, yet the universe conspired to make that happen. I (not Harry) am a serious writer.
    Therefore, I care even less whether Harry's silly book succeeds, and in fact, due to the extremely politically incorrect nature of the book, we EXPECT bad reviews, and even desire them.
    And yet, since the silly book briefly hit the top ten in the Australia kindle store, I've obsessively checked sales and rankings many times a day for the past two weeks. Then last night, it actually felt like relief when it dropped out of the top 100. I remembered I'm a writer, and that rankings and sales matter less than stories. And it felt wonderful.
    P.S I just checked, and we're back up to 78. We're back, I tells ya! BACK!!!
    AAAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH.
    Please somebody, anybody, I beg you. Unplug my internet connection.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, Harry-not-Harry, it's all a trap! The Amazon mindfuck. Buy it, read it, love it.

      And for a brief moment today, when working on work, I didn't think about Amazon at all. At all.

      Maybe if we can't be sane all the time, we can inch up to sanity for an hour here and there?

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  2. Anonymous7:21 AM

    I was SURE I could keep myself from reading reviews. I thought, I don't want to know, therefore I'll just stay away and live on in blissful ignorance. Ha. How naive. The most I can do is confine myself to reading them on the weekends, when I have two days free to indulge in self-loathing and chocolate and not have to lift my eyes to another soul except my son, who only wants a grilled cheese sandwich out of me.

    -Averil

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    Replies
    1. Chocolate helps. In fact, it's an Rx. Also, a really, really top shelf whiskey. But then, there's the hangover part, which is a total downer all over again.

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