Funny how the big, ungainly turkey is associated with both eating and getting down to business. I’d love to know how that evolved.
For today’s topic I could either talk turkey about Thanksgiving or talk turkey about writing, so I’ll do a little bit of both?
For years every Thanksgiving I had to go to bed with a stomachache. But no more! That’s because I stopped eating wheat. Who knew the beloved dressing that I always overindulged in was making me sick? So tomorrow when everyone else is oohing and aahing over the fabulous turkey stuffing, I’ll be making a fuss over the turkey itself and the sweet potatoes and the Brussels sprouts and the pumpkin pie. I’m truly thankful that I get to enjoy the day without getting sick.
Now let’s talk business turkey. My second book, The Last Death of Jack Harbin comes out January 7, and I’m gearing up for the business end of the writing game. I learned a lot with number 1. Some things I did well, others I need to improve. Here are a few things I learned:
-No matter how much I loved having a huge launch party for all my old friends, I remember hardly anything about it, except that it was exhausting. This time I’m sticking to bookstore launches. With refreshments, of course. Would I change having had that party? No! I dreamed of it for years, and I’m sure it was fun—everyone told me so!
-Promoting a book can become endless. I kept thinking I had done a lot of promotion and then someone would say, “Oh, did you get reviewed by XXX? Did you go through YYY mailing list? Did you blog on ZZZ that has 30,000 hits a day? Did you….” There’s always more, more, more. But at some point I have to call it a “good job.”
-I need to be smarter about using my physical resources. I did a lot of flying back and forth to get to bookstore readings, and wore myself out. This time I’m timing the readings so that I make one big swoop.
-A few people I thought would be happy for me not only never showed up at any events, but didn’t even acknowledge that I had achieved a lifetime dream. My feelings were hurt. But then I realized it’s a little like a 20-year old hottie going to a party and focusing on the only man in the room who doesn’t notice her. Get over it!
-The opposite of the above. People I never expected to notice made a fuss over me and my book—big time. And I took it personally. Warmly and personally. It taught me a lesson, to always make a fuss over someone’s new book. It matters to an author and feels really good.
-When the rollercoaster slowed down, I went through a slump. I thought I would be relieved when it was over, but boy did I miss having the spotlight on me, me, me! My goal this time around is to learn to enjoy it while it lasts and be a good, solid grownup when it slows down. Wish me luck!