I Haven't Been Writing Because I've Been Writing

The irony of the writer's life is that the greatest obstacle to his writing is often the need to write. In my case, the last month has certainly involved a bunch of distractions from posting my thoughts here--travel, family, work, you name it--but I must confess myself ironically amused at how many of those distractions have involved writing in some way.

For one thing, there was the editing of Along Those Lines, which did, I'll grant you, involve a lot of reading as well as writing. In this modern age, the edit was done not on the printed page, but on a PDF. I simply highlighted all the places where changes needed to be made and explained the change in a marginal note... except of course that I used no highlighter and had no actual margins. It's a little weird not having a paper copy, but Paul Dry Books assures me that the next version of the book will be a physical ARC for me to peruse. And of course, I'll end up having to write in that, too.

There's also been the matter of doing publicity for the book, a task for which I have little natural talent, but I do at least have a fair number of friends who can help me by writing blurbs. These friends, however, must be asked to write blurbs, so a lot of my recent writing has been solicitations to writerly friends and acquaintances. A goodly number of them have accepted this onerous task and are even now looking over PDFs and/or awaiting ARCs so that they can accomplish it. I'm excited, since this group includes some wonderful writers who will make me look far better by association than I probably deserve. Paul Dry Books is gearing up for a couple of interesting attempts at publicity, and I hope to have news about them in a few weeks. And then I'll have to write that news here.

And naturally, there's been plenty of writing on student papers. As we approach the end of the winter trimester, I'm having the usual rush of students signing up for last-minute writing conferences. (The deadline for turning in revisions of papers is Friday, and I don't let them revise a paper until we've conferred about it.) Sure, I have to read them, and I have to speak with them about their work, but a surprising amount of what I'm doing involves writing comments and suggestions on their papers, which sort of seems unfair. I mean, I understand why I have to write marginal notes on my own writing--why do I have to share the wealth with others?

I've also done some writing on Facebook and Twitter, though those platforms tend to support only short bursts of thought, rather than the sustained pieces of thinking I usually try to write here, so I'm not sure they should count.

In the end, though, all of this writing is focused on writing about a piece of writing that already exists, except that it isn't in print yet, so more writing must be done in order to get it into print. And then, sometime in May, the book will be out and in everyone's hand and I won't have to write about it any more.

I hope by then I've still got something left to say.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on February 25, 2014 11:38 AM.

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