It occurs to me that promoting your work, your book, or whatever you are marketing is far from the artistic process. I found this out quite vividly in New York recently at the Book Expo of America. This is a yearly massive event for booksellers; where authors and publishers try to convince the book stores, libraries, etc to take on their books and put them in their stores. It’s also a place to schmooze with agents, publishers, and the like. Although I had a good experience there – a lot of interest in my memoir, Accidental Lessons – it still feels so removed from the writing life. And, it is.
I tell my students and people who come to The Writing Life workshops that writing and publishing are two different animals. You have to know a lot about both, but don’t confuse the two. If you want to be a writer – write. If you want to be a writer who gets published – write. Writing is the constant, not publishing. Sure, we all want to share out work, get published, but writing is what we first fell in love with. Don’t be so enamored by the sexy suitor – publishing – that you forget your first love – writing.
This is a big part of my The Writing Life workshops. Two more coming up in Chicago-area Border’s stores (St. Charles and Naperville) in June. If you want to be a writer, come by. I would love to see you.
Oh, by the way, thank you Joseph-Beth Bookseller in Pittsburgh (Southside) for a nice workshop night this past Thursday!