Time rushes by, sadly, not at a snail’s pace. Autumn is here and there is much to tell. Another snail book is being written, more school bookings are being taken for Book Week, I have another book signing at Waterstone’s, Alton High Street on 6th November, I am asked to write many articles for publications and one of our books has been nominated for an award in America.
My problem this year? I have been working so hard on marketing our books. I have enjoyed the workshops and the school visits, the promotional events, the festivals and fetes, but it leaves so little time to do the writing.
Four times I have begun to write another book. Each time it gets put to one side as a marketing opportunity comes up and I rush off to spread the word about the importance of planning stories, or the need to pick real life stories from the wonderful world that is all around us. I go home. I put pen to paper. I escape into my books, I get into the plot, the pace is working well. Then ZAP! I have to rush off on the school run, sort out what’s for tea, cut the lawn or – ouch! – write a blog entry.
I see the need for writing retreats. That’s what I need. I need three months to crack it. No distractions. No deadlines. But mums can’t do that, can they? There’ll be no-one to organise the chimney sweep to come and take away the jackdaw’s nest that’s sendng all the smoke from our fire shooting out into the living room; there’ll be no-one to bake fresh bread, and there’ll be no-one to make sure the rabbits get fed every day and, when they die, that they are put in the right place in the garden and given the correct farewell ceremony!
The life of a writer is a tough one. Throw children and a husband and a house into the mix and it becomes a life of impossible tail chasing.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
One of our books, The Secret Scroll, has been put forward for two awards at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in America. The book was co-written, drawn and illustrated with twenty primary age school children from Selborne C of E Primary School, Selborne, and attracted funding from Hampshire Council’s Leading Sustained Development Project.
The Moonbeam awards were designed to honour the year’s best children’s books, authors and illustrators and is open to authors, illustrators and publishers of children’s books. The Secret Scroll has been entered into the category for Religion/Spirituality and has also been put forward for an achievement award as the book was a UK first in published collaborative writing and a world 2nd.
We are extremely excited about both nominations and are delighted to have been put forward. Results will be announced at the end of October 2010.
So, I’m thinking, win an award in America and I could stop marketing for a while. No? No! It will increase the marketing more so! It will create extra pressures!
I am a writer. I want to write. Why am I trying to run a small publishing house and a family and balance all those balls in the air at the same time – without stopping?
Or is it the madness of it all that makes me feel alive?
Can anyone help me crack this one?
Until the next blog.