Years ago when my niece and nephew were young, my brother decided to take them through the ice caves in upstate New York. It was a popular tourist attraction and he figured that his 8 year old daughter and 7 year old son would enjoy it. What he didn’t count on was being pulled in two directions.
You see, the minute they entered the ice cave, my nephew yanked his father’s arm and started bellowing, “Let’s go Daddy! Let’s go!” But my niece planted her feet in one spot and pulled his other arm, crying “I don’t want to go in! I don’t want to go in!”
Forget the stalactites and stalagmites. All my brother remembers about the experience was yelling “Slow Down!” and “Come on!” depending upon which arm was attached to which kid. But somehow they made it through the ice caves.
As an indie writer trying to make my way, I know the feeling only too well. I’m constantly caught in the middle trying to decide if I should be using what available minutes I have to write, or to market my books.
Writing and marketing have become the yin and yang of my world. They’ve got to work in harmony or I won’t survive this game. Then why do I feel so guilty when I’m doing one thing instead of the other?
My characters plague me all day with their continuous dialoguing in my head. But my social network is constantly reaching out for attention, too. Which writers’ conferences to attend? Who might be interested in interviewing me? What brick and mortar bookstores are eager to sell my novels? It’s all about contacts, contacts, contacts. And I can’t do that if I’m thinking about the grisly body that my protagonist just found.
I know. I know. It’s all about time management. At least that’s what they teach you in school. Maybe set a block of time for writing and another for marketing. But believe me, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Like it or not, I’ve become my brother. I’m moving through the ice caves in two directions. But I’m moving. And right now, that’s the best I can do.