Friday, April 13, 2012

Pez Dispensers Full of Antidepressants

Sometimes I think being a writer during this time of flux in the industry is enough to drive most of us to carrying around Pez dispensers full of antidepressants.

I wonder how Eudora Welty would react if her publicist (if she even had one) told her to learn how to Twitter. Do you think William Faulkner would spend an hour a day on Facebook? I doubt if many of great writers of the last century worried over book tours, book festivals, and book returns. They turned in their manuscripts, and were off to writing their next novel.

My, how things have changed.

The publishing industry has gone through so many changes, I wonder if it even recognizes itself. The number of experts offering me words of wisdom pop up in my email every day. You have to weed through them. Find the ones that need pulling, and take time on the few that spark your interest. Most of the time I delete them.

I would like nothing more than to bury myself in a good book, sit in the library for a whole day, and develop characters and scenes just for the fun of it. Writers don't have those by-gone luxuries anymore.

I'm getting ready for the upcoming promotion surrounding my novel, the book signings, the speaking engagements, and the traveling involved. And really, I don't mind it. I enjoy meeting my readers, getting inside their heads, finding out what they're reading these days. Connecting. Writers have to connect with their readers more often than they used to. Technology demands that we do.

E books can be read overnight. Stories are shorter. Reviews are plastered over the Internet so readers can make intelligent choices. It's enough to give Margaret Mitchell a migraine. I'm not sure the writers of yesteryear would know how to handle it. I wonder if they'd embrace it, or give up in the midst of such fierce competition.

I'm in the midst of a countdown. There are lists of preparation. Each month before the novel is released to the public, the writer, publisher, and publicist have their work cut out for them. I'm about six months out from pub date, and every day my list grows longer. Even though I have a great team behind me, my list remains long and detailed.

I don't have a Pez dispenser full of antidepressants, but I am considering increasing my coffee intake.

Blessings to you and yours.

No comments: