One issue with being unpublished is a lack of quick and easy subject matter for postings to websites, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. My published friends are cheering over completed scenes, moaning over deadlines, freaking over writer’s block for the next book, celebrating sales or rereleases, Tweeting reminders of release and signing dates, eagerly anticipating the first look at their cover art, and coping with reviews—good or bad. Fun and fascinating photos are going up—fabulous photos of their book tour (or research tour), the newly released cover art, the foreign version of their cover art, the arrival of books in the mail, their book-themed tchotkas, hot pics of the Hollywood types who were their character inspirations. Fun stuff that is nice to “like”, “share”, reTweet, or comment on. And easier to do that than face writing our own posts.
The rest of us? Still waiting. Nothing new to report. Our deadlines are still self-imposed, and therefore not as urgent…at least, they don’t seem enough so to post something somewhere. Especially, if, say, it was looking like it was going to be a missed deadline. (That’s just talking yourself down.) When our supporting friends from the kids’ school, church, or work say, “Hey, what’s new with the book!?”, we smile brightly and say, “Yeah…Still waiting.” Do folks actually still care that we’re working on the next manuscript?
I try to keep my day-to-day life somewhat separate from my author persona. Easier some days than others. I’ll mention my kids sometimes, but have no plans to become a mommy blogger. I just changed jobs in “the real world”. It made for a stressful couple of months, impacted NaNo deadlines, and generally threw me off schedule. Yet, it’s not something I’m going to be laying out into print in anything but generalities. Not many topics to pull from there.
The writing life includes the plateaus and the down hill slides as well as the steadily-slogging-upwards parts. Those just aren’t as much fun—or as easy—to share. And yet…it is critical that the website get updated, Facebook stays fresh, and Tweets go out. It is probably even more critical that these updates actually encourage readers to stay and return, rather than driving them away with damp grey skies and Eyeore-like pronouncements of doom.
Nope, being an author isn’t always sunshine and unicorns, but as long as I’m not batting away flying monkeys with a flaming broom, that’s okay. It’s the life I chose for myself, and worked hard for. So, like Milo in The Phantom Tollbooth, I’ll slog through the doldrums, not let myself get distracted or discouraged, and break through to the other side. It might just take a while.