Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Two Hats, Two Minds

Writing and illustrating necessitates seclusion. I have interactions with family and friends, the occasional outing, but mostly I am alone. As I step into the author role for a first time with a September publication, I feel nervous about taking on a public persona. Must I toot my own horn, schmooze, and pretend I’m an extrovert? Nowadays this is required for the success of a book. I have so much to learn! Presumably I will need to set up as many signing and presenting events as possible. So, how will I get anything done in the studio if I am not there?

Lately I worry about adult ADHD. My whole life I’ve taken pride in my ability to multi-task, to bear down and focus as needed . . . but now, not so much. What has changed?

An illustrator friend sent me an invitation to join Facebook last summer. After hearing lots of buzz about the importance of social networking, this seemed a handy way to reach out of my studio while remaining in my studio. However, between the bouncing icons and sounds alerting me that I have new e-mail, instant messaging, and now Facebook interactions, I am constantly interrupted in my work. So far I am resisting Twitter. Communication just gets faster and faster, more and more invasive. Tweet, tweet!

Some recommend avoiding e-mail and Facebook while working, but since I live on the west coast and deal with publishers on the east coast I feel compelled to begin my day by signing on and addressing communications. I avoid Facebook, but when an e-mail notification alerts me that someone has made a comment, I am lured to Facebook despite my best intentions. My plans for quiet writing time are frequently derailed. Yoo hoo, discipline, where are you? I have to fight my tendency to respond immediately to everyone else’s demands.

I would love to hear from other people about how they manage tension and balance, their interior life as creator and subsequently, the exterior life when the work is delivered.


Stephanie said...

Dang, it's hard for us introverts to be extoverts. I think it takes some pretending. Or just multiple personalities. Or sometimes beer helps.

Christy said...

Do you recommend any particular beer for me to bring to my readings?

Stephanie said...

That would depend on age level. Not all are suited to alcoholic beverages...