I’ve enjoyed the slower pace of summer the past few weeks.
Nearly a year post-pub, I am fortunate book event requests continue for Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters, but at a slower yet steady pace. Now I have time to do the other tasks associated with being a writer.
Things like endorsing books for authors upon request, which requires reading said book and summarizing the impact of it in a sentence or two. Like reviewing writers grant applications local writer’s guild, posting on social media, and prepping for two upcoming conferences I’m a presenter at. Like reading voraciously and giving online reviews for other writers, and meeting with hopeful authors upon request. Like researching new affordable ways to market my memoir online and introduce it to new readers. Like writing essays and posts for blogs and magazines about this writer’s journey. Like reaching out to universities and requesting my book be considered as extra reading or texts for their sociology, psychology, or gender studies program.
These are other duties as assigned for writers. They are optional. But writing, much like the rest of life, is best done in a supportive community. There is a time to take and a time to give.
Thanks to so many giving writers in my local and international community, I’ve learned a lot and had some successes, and have found a safe place to land when sharing failures.
I’ll be the first to say I’ve said yes to a few too many things this year. I’ve skimmed special moments with family and friends or during events because my mind has been racing to the next thing on my list while I’m working through the present one. And I’ve let my savings whittle away as I’ve dug deep in my pockets to make sure I’d be available for events wherever requested. And I’ve loved every bit of it.
But it’s time to slow down. I’ve begun requesting speaking fees to cover writer’s events that cost me. It’s a shift in thinking and inevitably results in some no’s, but that’s alright.
I’ve taken the time to enjoy conversations without feeling I need to get back to work. I’ve cuddled my cats with wild abandon. I once snuck away for tent camping with my daughter. And I took an afternoon to watch a rescued porcupine baby learn tricks. And every morning, I listen to the breeze blowing in the leaves before I get up and start my day. Not exactly a state of Zen, but it’s a start.
In three years, retire from my all-encompassing day job, and will face a lot of big decisions then about what’s next. How will I fill my days? Where will I fill my days? Will I become a fulltime writer? Will I leave Alaska permanently to live closer to family, or split my time between states. Everything is unsure.
But what I do know for sure is that I can work as much or as little as I want in writing, and enjoy the love and support of an irreplaceable reading and writing community that will be with me, wherever I land.
Thank you for that.
On September 1-8 (2017), my publisher will be offering 32 terrific e-books for only 99 cents! I promise you, there are treasures here. Feel free to load up and tell your friends!
Thank you. Always.