Saturday, July 14, 2007

Workaholic Blues

I was not always a workaholic.

The malady grew, undetected, through the years, parallelling my increasing responsibilities, until it became so much of me I had to arrange a physical separation between my work and my home life. The strategy worked most of the time, but there were outbreaks to be curbed.

It is more difficult now. My office is only a few steps away and writing has a tempo imposed by the release of new books. This makes it easy to impose self deadlines to meet some imagined advantage of keeping your name in the public eye, especially when the failure of a publisher reduces the body of your work available to readers. There's a terrible temptation to work harder, write faster, to replace those books in the market.

Marketing is another excuse. Small house publishers, the ones likely to take a chance on emerging and makee-learnee writers like me, do not have the funds to promote their books and the burden falls to the author. I've gone through the initial stage of frenetic energy, interrupted by trips to New Zealand and Europe/UK, and have settled to a level of measured effort directed as intelligently as I can, although the prime requirement still seems to be a sufficient body of work in the public domain to sustain interest.

I guess I'll just struggle along, trying to balance the conflicting demands of my family, my muse and commercial realities.

It's a great life. (I think)

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