Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Other Part of Writing

The further I venture along the road of writing, the more I come into contact with writing's evil twin. Would you call it marketing? Visibility? PR? It is the ever-changing, insatiable cluster of activities that are meant to get you noticed, purchased, etc. Blogging, networking, querying, pitching, attending conferences, reading newsletters and magazines. When it is sometimes a challenge to carve out time for the act of writing itself, I wonder how I can carve out time to dance with this evil twin long enough that my writing sees the light of day. In an ideal world, if I treated it like a full-time job, part of my writing day would be devoted to the act of writing, and part of it to this other creature, this bastard step-child, this time-sucking cruel master that is self-promotion. Ah! But I have a full-time job. So. When writing's evil twin holds my work hostage in darkness and demands his pound of flesh, what can I do?

I suppose it is a question of rationing your time and attention. I should count my blessings. As a teacher, I can devote time on my breaks to both sides of writing. And perhaps that is really the way to look at it. Writing has two sides - more, really. It has a case of multiple personality disorder - the Muse, the Editor, the Promotor. Who knows who else is in there? They each serve a purpose. They each have their skills and talents. Some of them are more fun to dance with - or maybe they just know different steps.

No amount of extended metaphor is likely to placate my frustration with that Other Part of Writing. But maybe it will help me tolerate it, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, perhaps even come to respect it. Still, I doubt I will ever embrace it. My loss.

What do you do to help make your peace with this other aspect of the writer's life?

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