Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Partitioning Out My TIme

I keep thinking that I'll reach some magical point where the work of being a writer is over and I can just go off somewhere and be creative. Hah! That's something no one ever warns new writers about.

I suppose if you're a certain type of writer, you don't have to do any promotion, but we mere mortals work our butts off at it. Was it Macy of Macy's Department Store who said, "Half of all advertising is wasted. I just which I knew which half?" At least half of all time spent on promotions is wasted, but which half? I have no clue. So I do it all - chats, blog entries, writer's and reader's lists, social lists, readings, working book fairs, literary festivals, private correspondence, publisher promotions and writer's collective promotions. It takes a lot of time.

Another thing no one ever warns new writers about is how much time submissions, editing, etc. can suck up. Getting work accepted is only the beginning of the process of publishing.

There's a never-ending cycle of reading calls for submission, thinking up stories, first draft, second draft, polish, polish, polish, submit, acceptance, edit, promote, that leaves little time to cherish each word and set it like a jewel on the page next to the prior jewel so that you end up with this exquisite string of words like beads on a necklace. In my fantasies, at some point I'll be able to slip away to a cabin in the woods and devote myself to ars gratia artis. But I suspect that the reason it hasn't happened yet is that existing in such a vacuum would cause writer's block. That and I'm afraid that left to my own devices, I might turn into an art diva. (Fringe, velvet, paisley, and a turban - kind of like Lord Byron.) So maybe being busy all the time is a good thing. At least it stops me from committing crimes against poetry.

1 comment:

Roxy Katt said...

I like your post. I find that submissions become a kind of bureaucracy: trying to keep track of which story I sent where, when, etc. Also, a fair number of submissions have to be followed up because some publishers simply let them disappear without a response.

Roxy Katt
Pornographer and Cultural Bolshevik