Monday, July 23, 2007

Eyes of the Stove...uh…Eyes on the Prize

That whole watched pot never boiling thing is not quite true. I’ve been waiting for the UPS truck all week, knowing the advance copies of Where Souls Collide were off the press and en route to my house. Then, in a magical moment on Friday, I glimpsed a brown short-clad man strolling down my front walk, boarding that wonderful truck and wheeling away.

Not much bigger than a boot box (the nice over-the-knee kind), inside the unassuming brown parcel were 25 copies of my dream come true in print.

Giggles and heart palpitations followed. Then, I nearly started to hyperventilate at the thought of all those other books landing in hands across the country. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t completely overwhelming in the most incredible way. I wanted to wallow, but let’s be real, who’s got time?

There are press releases to send and follow up, flyers to design and distribute, a newsletter to create, interviews to conduct, blogs to write, web sites to update, statistics to track and the next book to complete. I figure I’ll stop to breathe at Christmas.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I finished Where Souls Collide, it’s that writing is a business framed by lines: number of lines, deadlines, bottom lines. Yes, lots of personal satisfaction and fulfillment help round them out, but rubbing elbows with those in these trenches has given me a whole new appreciation for being a writer.

I’ve learned to compartmentalize the demands on my limited time. Racking up pages comes first, but promotion cannot be ignored. I’m committed to learning something new about my craft every day and making sure I tend to the business obligations of being published. All this and a family, too!

But, that’s one of the great parts: The people closest to me understand that I don’t function so well without writing in my life. So, we make it work. This quest to be published (well now multi-published) is one of a few pots fired up by my life. With a little prayer and a lot of love, I’m watching every one of them start to boil, ready for whatever comes next.