Reality Byte VII: Promote & Protect
Lately, I have been busy, promoting my novel, Castles in the Sand. Promotion, a necessary part of the writing business, can be an all-encompassing whirl of activity: preparing a Media Kit, sending email, tweeting, adding pics to Pinterest, putting an author page on Facebook (just managed that one, little time on it), updating website and yes, blogging. Still another aspect of promoting is giving back, sharing what one knows. I recently shared a Power Point Presentation about short story contests with a very receptive high school class in Clinton, BC. A great experience. I recently turned down an opportunity to present that workshop as a webinar to a group in Ontario; I do not yet have the skill required to do that, but acquiring that skill is on my To Do List!
So, yes, I’m busy. As mentioned in a previous post, I try to achieve balance, but every now and then, I need a little jolt to help me set priorities and keep me on track. When I watched the open show of Smash this season, I got that jolt from a single line: “Protect the work.” It was the response given to an up-and-coming performer (played by Katharine McPhee) who asked a superstar (played by Jennifer Hudson) what advice she would give to a newcomer in the entertainment world. The response? “Protect the work.” Three words. That’s all. Just a well-honed line from a script? Maybe. But it was delivered like a message from the heart.
What does ‘protect the work’ mean to me? It means cherishing and honing the writing craft. Constantly. Despite all the busyness of the business. Despite all the demands of daily life. Always, in the back of my mind, as I am promoting one project, sits the gnawing awareness that there are two unedited novel-length manuscripts awaiting my attention, that one of those is especially near and dear to my heart, and that I must make time to give it the attention it deserves. It is ‘the work.’ It is all about the work. The writing.
Yes, by all means, writers must promote. But we must also set aside the time to write. Daily. We must ‘protect the work.’
Now, excuse me, while I pull an unedited manuscript from cyberspace….
My best to you,