Thursday, December 18, 2008

Giving up and going with the distraction

OK, so today has been crazy, what with the LA Times blog mention and the Amazon Bestseller list (currently holding at No 10, above the alarm clock, finally), and a query to my publisher from a radio producer who might want to interview me. I've decided I am not going to fight it anymore. I'm not going to try and pretend that life is normal, and feeling appalling guilty for not writing anything new - or working on my stories at all.

I am going to fully and utterly: BE DISTRACTED

From now on I am officially: distracted.

Not one foot in distraction and one foot swinging wildly around trying to find a place to land. Both feet in. I have committed.

It takes a year, they tell me, after your book comes out, before you can get down to work again - what with the constant thoughts of "How do I sell? How do I persuade people to buy it?", the reviews - whether they be positive, balanced or negative - the updating of the websites, the checking of Sitemeter to see who has visited the website, the answering of the questions on Virtual Book Tours, the complaining on my blog.... Time-consuming!

It feels good to have given in to it instead of fighting it. Maybe I will write something. But that will be a bonus. I have plenty to do - The Short Review is always there, and now I have 12 students who will shortly be sending work for critique, which is a wonderful new challenge, both of those being short-story related without involving me writing stories. I am in the field I want to be in, with the most exciting things happening on a daily basis. I just received a card from a friend with wishes for a great and successful 2009, and I thought, well, 2009 is going to have to try very hard to beat 2008!

Officially Distracted Writer Signs Off.


SueG said...

This sounds so great. Such mental health! :-0 But you're right. All you can do is give in and enjoy. And you certainly deserve it.

Calistro said...

How exciting! Enjoy every moment - you'll only have this experience once so cherish it and don't feel guilty (your first book being published I mean - I'm sure you'll also experience your second, third, fourth etc books coming out in the future too but enjoy the excitement of it being the first).

Thanks for the heads up on the 'it takes a year after your book comes out before you can get down to work again' tip - that's one very good reason why I fully intend to get my second book written before my first comes out!

Tania Hershman said...

Sue, welcome home! And yes, I hope it does lead to slightly better mental health.

Cally - thanks so much for popping in, sharing our angst over 1st book etc... really helps, doesn't it? I have actually been feeling a bit like this since the book deal almost 18 months ago, so yes, it does go on and on. If you can get your 2nd book written now, then do it. And congratulations! Can't wait to read it.

Gay Degani said...

So very COOL, Tania! Mention of me in the LA Times Blog would lead to days of dizzying daydreams. Congrats.

annie said...

hurray for distraction. we love distraction. it is the new black. the in thing. the way to be. distraction is far better than focus because anything can happen, random wonderful things, perhaps the thing you least expect.

Tania Hershman said...

Gay - I have flu, too, so it's all dizzy! Thanks :)

Annie, I love that, you are so right, didn't I even blog about that a while ago? So distracted that I forgot. here it is .

harvey molloy said...

Good on ya! Enjoy the distraction and your success.

Cynthia Morris said...

Another perspective - I don't see it as distraction. Distraction from what? Writing? Who says you have to be producing new work all the time?
This is so clearly a whole other cycle in your creative process. It's the part of the process where your work goes further and further into the world, meeting new readers who get to relish your stories. It's the part where you see how all the hard work you put in is met and received and celebrated by the world. How glorious! How cool is that!
So I see this time as a place where you stretch and grow to meet the accolades. Where you receive them fully and have fun with all the opportunities that are coming your way. It's different than the phase where you are tucked away from the public, writing. It asks different things from you - being more public, fully receiving the abundance, acknowledging your efforts...
I'm thrilled for you. Your only job is to relish this time, have fun connecting, as I know you do, and let in the love!
Celebrating with you,

christopop said...

So now you know after all those years of graft and "Will It Ever Happen?" exactly what overnight success feels like.

The hard part, so they say, is getting down to hard graft again, because whilst your star is in the ascendent, everbody, but everybody, wants a piece of you - just CHOOSE carefuly, and feeling great about it all will continue.

If a cool black dude can become President, anything is possible!

Gwendolyn said...

So happy for you Tania. Best of luck in all your ``distractions.''