Posts Tagged ‘publicity work writing life’

A NILA MFA graduate posted a link to this New Yorker parody of a publicist’s letter to an author, instructing the author in what was expected of him now that his book was about to come out:

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2009/10/19/091019sh_shouts_weiner

This parody is close to the truth. As I said to the MFA alumnus: I laughed out loud, then went into the next room and shot myself dead.

The truth about this blog and anything else that I might do to stay in touch with readers is that a writer’s life often involves a long list of things to do and things that would be lovely to do. I work and work, and I’m still chronically behind.

I love learning languages, traveling to teach abroad, working with translators, writing stories, writing my novel, working with an international community of creative writing teachers, teaching MFA students, writing about writing…

And it all gets to be a little too much, even before the letter comes from the publicist asking if I already have a blog.

There are times when I think that something has to go, either some of the teaching, one or more of the long-term writing projects, my ambition to get back into literary translation. Does a writer really have to write a blog in order to have a following?

But any ambition that I don’t manage to feed feels like a little suicide, some part of myself that I enjoy, but have decided to kill. The coyote chews off a leg to escape the trap with its life.

I’m not there yet, and at least most of what I feel too busy with is a life that I chose, want, and enjoy. But whenever I hear of something else that a writer can do to build readership, I receive the news with a sense of dread.