Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pluggung Away

Many of you may know that I had a difficult last half of summer. On July 13, I had shoulder surgery and became one of the two percent who suffered nerve damage in my arm as a result. No! This is not a whine about poor me. It’s about moving right along.

For the first few weeks I was in pain and grumpy as hell—feeling sorry for myself, imagining scenarios in which I would never again be able to use my right hand, thinking of ways to get revenge on my doctor, etc. I worried that I’d get carpal tunnel problems in my poor overworked left hand, blah, blah, blah.

But I’m a writer and the first thing I wanted to do was write. I had set myself the goal of getting back to work, even in a limited capacity two weeks after the surgery. I don’t remember exactly how long it was after the surgery that I actually faced my computer one-handed, but I did. I’m no martyr—I didn’t  set impossible goals or make a fuss internally if I didn’t reach a goal, but I  tried to do a bit each day. One day I was grumping that I hadn’t done anything productive in forever, and suddenly I thought, “Wait a minute, you goose, you’ve gotten a lot done.” Then I tallied up what I had actually accomplished in the last few weeks, and realized I was plugging along and accomplishing little bits of this and that—writing a weekly blog, doing edits on the thriller I finished the first draft of just before the surgery, and yep, writing my weekly blog. It all added up to a respectable amount of work.

Also I have been going over the edits suggested by my copyeditor at Seventh Street Books for the book that comes out January12, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake. Yes. January 12, which means…YIKES! It’s time to get my promotion calendar going. Time to do all those tedious, necessary tasks that must be done if I have a chance of getting the books into the hands of readers. I realized a while back that promotion is not about me, me, me. It’s about wanting people to have the chance to read a book I worked hard on and that I’m proud of. If they don’t know about the book, they won’t get a chance to read it. Thus, promotion.

I’m lucky. I like talking to people, reading aloud, traveling to bookstores and libraries and book clubs. But those gigs don’t set themselves up, It would be nice to be one of those authors in the rarefied world of big publishing who get their tours set up and paid for by their publishers, but alas that isn’t me. It falls to me to set up the opportunities to talk to people about my books, to write to the bookstores and arrange the travel, notify magazines that have interviewed me in the past, try to get radio interviews, etc. These days the trend is to have more than one author at bookstores, so it also means finding out who has books coming out that would likely be interested in sharing author time with me.

So time to plug away a little harder. And by the way, I’ve typed this into the computer using both hands. Turns out that there are hand clinics that make these amazing contraptions that allow people with limited hand usage to do all kinds of tasks. I’m ready to get to work!

1 comment:

Priscilla said...

Bravo, Terry! Great advice. Glad there is some improvement, but you have my sympathy. And writers just gotta write...