I’m on the third day of a blessed 5-day stint where I don’t have to leave the farm. I’m working lots of hours but also reclaiming some time to do things I love – like watching the radishes sprout and traveling the trails here with Meander. I even crocheted last night.
It feels excellent, especially after a week when I was gone from the farm almost every day.
But I also feel a little sad because I wonder if this is it – the slow down after the frenzy, the time when The Slaves Have Names slides into the bookshelf, spine instead of face out. This time will come, of course, but I find myself just a little melancholy that we may be there so soon.
So I really have two options here: I can move on to other things and let the book do what the book will do on its own OR I can do another marketing push and see what can come of it.
I’m choosing the middle road – I’m working on new things – new book, writer’s retreat, farm animals – AND I’m continuing to talk with people about opportunities to speak and the possibility of selling copies. (In fact, it looks like I’ll be coming to Ohio for the week of September 15th to do a book tour.)
I’m choosing this path for several reasons:
1. Hope – Both working on new things and continuing to market The Slaves Have Names are acts of hope for me. Beginning something new – to paraphrase Shawn Smucker again – is to live in hope that things will come of it. And the act of contacting bookstores and groups about the published book still feels hopeful.
2. Balance – It feels immensely healthy for me to still be invested in the people from Bremo while also making my way into new things. Both the published book and the work in progress are a part of my now, and so giving some of my time to both of them seems wise. Plus, the dual focus helps me not count too much on one thing.
3. Belief – I believe very strongly in the work I did in The Slaves Have Names. I believe the people in that book are important, and I believe it’s important for people to know about them. Yet, I also believe that it’s crucial I also create new work and not put the burden of my writing identity into that book or, more importantly, the people I wrote about in those pages.
4. Opportunity – My work in progress is an opportunity for me to try something new, and I’m pouring lots of time and words there. But I still have open opportunities to get the word out about The Slaves Have Names – still bookstores to contact and engagements to schedule.
So the middle road between moving on and looking back. . . . and maybe that’s just life, or life in the now – to live in the place where the past sits close the future right at hand, with us settled and easy in the middle.
What about you? What would you do if you were in my place? (Truly, I’d love to hear your thoughts.)