I write novels (see the sidebar), and I am fascinated by The Train Wreck That Is Publishing (TTWTIP). There have been several meltdowns lately, all documented on our Information Superhighway:
- Barnes & Noble up for sale
- Borders' going bankrupt, or close to it
- Joe Konrath selling ebooks like crazy and making more money than when in print
- Other authors abandoning publishers and going to self-publishing
- Publishers abandoning authors: Dorchester has gone totally e-releasing, and will only do selected titles in print. Plus they let most of their editors go. Going under? Or trying to stay alive?
- Other publishers doing similar things, plus looking at that e-rights clause in contracts.
- The fuss over literary vs. popular fiction (i.e., the Franzen/Picoult fuss. Just Google either and you'll find out, or read my previous blog on "Why I don't read literary fiction"). Note that there have been complaints about the lack of credibility for popular fiction since Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road, but I digress.
So that's one part of the world that I eagerly read about, tweet about, post updates about. It totally fascinates me because I am IN that world, albeit in a small part of it.
Then there's the other me: the Sane Me. The me who has nothing to do with that stuff. The Me who goes to work in the morning, has coffee with friends, shops at the mall, and is just another guy on the street. The person who has to meet deadlines in her Other Career, the one that really brings in the bucks, the one that pays for the medical insurance, the one that is still challenging and interesting but not as 'glamorous' as the TTWTIP.
There are days when I want to be fully in One World or the Other. I don't really care which one: just give me ONE life, please! Because I'm fascinated by one then am pulled to the other. Or I am in one and the other nudges me with a reminder of things to do.
So far I'm balancing them okay. I'm able to be productive in both worlds with little exhaustion and only the occasional snappish mood ("Leave me alone! I'm writing!") But sometimes ...
I push TTWTIP to one side and get on with the Real World. A snippet here and there may intrigue me, but I resist, focusing on the Paycheck Job. Then I spot a headline, or read a tweet and WHOOSH: I'm sucked in!