Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Second Wind

Once upon a time, I thought the hard part about writing a book would be writing the book. I know now that this is just the beginning.

One must also be able to edit on a dime, negotiate, compromise, speak publicly, plan and write speeches, conduct interviews, sound coherent at all times of the day or night, travel, think of creative things to write at the front of books, manage time and finances, and promote, promote, promote.

This is simply not what the typical writer likes to do. We like writing because it is a quiet activity that we do in solitude.

I've been on an intensive learning curve and trying to maintain energy as I squeeze interviews, appearances, speaking engagements and book signings into my work and life schedule. It's all quite heady...While I feel energized when meeting people and attending events, I must admit the aftermath quite knocks the wind from me.

I'm used to being the interviewer.  Now, I've had to adjust to being the interviewee. I know it will get easier, but right now it's nerve-wracking, hoping I can answer without rambling, stumbling or going blank. Or saying something totally stupid (as I have a tendency to do...)

I've posted links to a number of the interviews on my Facebook site, but here is one recording of a recent radio interview - with Information Morning Nova Scotia talk host, Don Connolly. It was the only one done with 87-year-old Mary and  I think it will give you a sense of her. 

CBC Information Morning, NS Interview

Mary and I signing books.
The warm and genuine responses from people who have already read Sanctuary have both humbled and slightly dazed me. It's as if they are speaking of someone else's creation and it seems quite impossible that it actually is mine...

Perhaps it is all just the newness of the experience, but I feel a disconnect between me and the book itself, as if I am simply the front man (woman) for the true creator.

And, truth be told, this is how I feel about my best writing...as if it is birthed elsewhere and simply flows through me, picking up bits of my voice, life experiences and emotions as it moves, like flowing water nudges bits of the shoreline into its current and carries it away. Often, I look at things I have written and wonder where the words came from.

I have to say, this has all been very foreign, and challenging. I've not had time to reflect on the whole experience, or the many ways it has changed me. But events are winding down now. I have some breathing room. Time to step back and gain perspective. Time to rest and revive my spirit.  Regain some solitude. Thanks for listening.

9 comments:

Diane said...

I understand this entirely. Even with the short story contests I've won and the story that was produced by CBC, I had a small taste of what you're talking about. And having two friends who are published authors, what you have written here is exactly what they say as well. They tend to go hand-in-hand. I do hope you continue to find time for your writing -- that is where the true nourishment resides.

Deborah Carr said...

Hi Diane...yes. I'm looking forward to a break over Christmas. Getting into a routine of daily writing and quiet time. Must figure out where I go from here...

Images by Ceci said...

Your accolades are well deserved. Enjoy the experience and now that time permits, enjoy your success in peaceful solitude.

Tabor said...

I have heard this experience form other authors. The solitude of creativity must get replaced by the commercial engine of marketing and they do not go together. Do not let it drain you too much.

Deborah Carr said...

Tabor, I hear you...I'm trying to find a middle ground that feels firm enough to stand on.

One Woman's Journey said...

This break during Christmas will be good for you. Try to find a balance - if there is one.
In my past of building homes I had difficulty with balance. Here in the woods I still do.
I wish you Happiness, Health, Safety and Peace.

Gwen Buchanan said...

the opposite face of writing.. yes it is a different world.. quite exhausting.. Always wanting to be "up" for everyone who has come to appreciate your work takes a lot of energy because you appreciate them as well and want them to know that... I am not too good at being in the public eye.. I am the person who works much better behind the scenes and John does the craft shows ..

You are doing great!!! but make sure you steal away some time just for your too..

gina said...

what you're describing...i think i know it well. i love it though, for it keeps me wondering and continuing. the unseen force behind it all.
i hope you are enjoying this ride, as it is part of the journey. you will know when, at times, to stop and breathe and nourish your soul. could you have imagined this 5 years ago? ah, the delights of our lives.
xxoo

crayonsencore said...

Deborah,
I really enjoyed catching up on your blog just now. You always post with a purpose, and your command of our language makes it a pleasure to read.
I can't imagine taking a book on the road as you have done. I salute you for your fortitude and sense of play.