This past weekend's training is a good example. I was thoroughly engaged for several weeks before the actual event in the various tasks involved in simply getting ready for it; and there is, too, for me, a kind of emotional preparation that causes my attention to stray from its comfortably familiar paths. Which is all to the good, don't get me wrong. I find it invaluable to be on the edge of my capabilities, because that's where I learn. At the same time, I value the stability of days and weeks in which I can find the rhythm again and build on it. Once lost, it's hard to find again.
Another distraction has been the preparation for the publication of my new book, which will be out shortly, though the publication date is not until January, 2010. Anyone who has published a book without the support of the commercial publishing system will know that along with the many tasks involved in getting it ready to go to press, the book will rapidly be swallowed up into vast void of printed matter unless the author him- or herself takes on the responsibility of promoting it. I have already devoted long hours to brainstorming and planning my own version of a public relations campaign--not because I have any illusions about making a lot of money, or indeed any money. Even my commercially-published books, some by major publishers, have generated no more income than a church mouse might need to survive. No, it's because I really do want to reach out to readers who might be interested in what I have to say. Writing, for me, is about communication, which doesn't happen until a reader sits down with a book and cracks it open.
So I have been getting some speaking and reading gigs lined up, and am making plans to reach out to my online contacts--and that includes you, my friends! Be forewarned!--to let them know when the happy event occurs. (If you have any ideas, please let me know...) It's a time-consuming and yet quite interestingly creative distraction, which takes me out of my writer's chair and makes me think about what it takes to be... a salesman!
The PR business will continue to require my time and attention for a good while to come, but I will be freed up of other major distractions for the foreseeable future--aside from Thanksgiving, of course, and Christmas, and the New Year. Oh, and the continuing health care debate!--so I'm promising myself and others to be a better blogger in the coming days. I have been negligent in visiting my neighborhood, and am looking forward to being more neighborly again. And getting back into the rhythm.