- by Charlotte Hubbard
While I saw myself in the profile of the “despairing” writer portrayed in the Kris Rusch blog I read recently in that my previous, dwindling sales/distribution numbers were being blamed on ME and my writing…right now I have a different dilemma: I’m too busy writing to worry about it. And too busy revising a Naomi King book to write my current WIP, which I’m writing under my own name…and of COURSE these two books come out in back-to-back months next year—so then, I will be too busy to write OR to revise the next books in these two series because I’ll be too busy promoting the ones I’m writing now.
Confused yet?! A fellow NINC author and good friend, Pat Rice, recently remarked, “Stop the Promo, I want to get off!” And in this whirlwind of busy-ness, while I am damn thankful to have two fine, well-respected editors requesting me to write these two Amish series…I really wonder sometimes if I’ll just STOP one day and either 1) fall over dead or 2) walk away and never look back, or 3) wonder if it was all really worth it. It’s not like I’m getting rich or famous . . .
And I felt bad turning down the invitation to serve on the NINC board again, but now that I’m into an unexpectedly major rewrite—and looking ahead to promo and my next deadlines—I’m so glad my agent and another writer friend woke me up to the fact that I really don’t have the time to serve right now. I’m also in the midst of getting old OOP western romances scanned and put up for sale on Amazon, and that project has stalled now even though I have a very competent fellow doing the tech work for me.
But it’s not like I have another career I really want to take up. When I got out of teaching (a lifetime ago, it seems) I walked away and never looked back. And about eleven years ago, I was just coming out of a 7-year “dry spell” when I couldn’t sell anything I wrote, so I don’t want to return to that desperate state, either. It would be nice to have time for a life, though. When I taught, I was into that make-your-own-bread phase, and taking night classes in cake decorating and photography and tole painting. More recently, while writing, I taught myself to play the accordion and did volunteer work at my church. Right now, I don’t even take time to shop for anything other than groceries and household items we need. It was a big deal when I got new underwear last week…and I bought it online so it could be delivered.
I buy a lot of my research books online, too—and I buy recreational reading with the hopes that someday I’ll actually get time to read it! I get concerned that all this focus on writing means I’m shutting myself away from those “artistic trips” recommended to sustain your muse and your spirits, and that I’m not joining new church or writing groups where I’ll make new friends after this major move we’ve just undergone, from MO to MN. I get out and walk, and I use the complex’s pool for water aerobics, but socially…I’m getting really off-balance. (No smart remarks or snickering, please, from those of you who know me! My dog has already informed me that Things Ain’t Wot They Used to Be.)
So I’d really love to hear how the rest of you strike a balance between work and play . . . and since I’ve been whinier than usual here, I’ll also invite any fellow whiners up to the podium to air your gripes about the nature of the writing business these days! I really dislike whining…would love to come up with a whole ‘nother blog post for this slot, but—you guessed it—I don’t have time to devise another one! Revisions await me!
I promise I’ll be in a more positive, upbeat mood next time! Thanks for listening.