Thursday, February 19, 2009

Balancing Life and Launch

I actually have a lot to say about balancing life and writing, about how it’s something I’ve struggled with for years, about how for a period, I stopped writing because the balancing act was too hard, and then how I came back to writing because I realized my life felt a whole lot emptier without it.

But right now, what I’m really having trouble balancing is The September Sisters book launch, with, well, everything else. It’s not the launch itself so much as the anticipation, the jitters, the excitement, and of course my own attempts at publicity and marketing. In fact all of this has pretty much dominated my life for the past month or so. Not much balance there at all.

My husband, who I’ve coined my unofficial publicist/head marketer/website designer is almost worse than I am. Our dinner conversation has been something like this lately.

Him: “How was your day?”
Me: “It was . . . Oh my god! Only (fill in number of days here) until the book comes out!”
Me: “I’m sorry. How was your day?”
Him: “It was. . .Hey, I Googled your book during lunch and found a new blog review. Did you see it?”

And it gets worse. At my son’s birthday party a few weeks ago, I found myself fielding questions about the book. While I was working out a few days ago, my husband interrupted to get my opinion on the bookmarks he was designing for me (which are awesome, by the way.) Kids go to bed, time to work on my revisions of my latest book? Not exactly. Instead, I’ve been answering interview questions, writing guest blogs, and trying to figure out how to use features on Goodreads and Facebook. My husband? He’s been hanging out in the office with me reading his very own copy of The September Sisters, and of course, stopping every so often to comment on a part the he hadn’t remembered reading in an earlier draft. That is, when he’s not working on my website or designing those aforementioned bookmarks!

Yeah. No balance. At all. It kind of reminds me of the way life was when I was nine months pregnant with my first child, when every single conversation or thought seemed to revolve around the baby or the birth or the nursery or how we were planning on caring for the baby. But in a lot of ways, isn’t a book coming out kind of like the same thing? With this book launch, I’m getting ready to put a piece of myself, out there, into the world, and once it’s out there, everything might be different than it was before. It’s an idea that overwhelms me with excitement (and sometimes, terror).

I am sure in a few weeks things will die down, and life will go back to normal, and then I’ll be happily back to juggling only life and writing. But for now, I’m okay with letting the book launch consume my life, for a little while anyway. After all, your debut book only comes out once!

PS. I’m all over the blogosphere this week and next, talking about The September Sisters. Click on over to my personal blog to find the links!


Tracy Madison said...

Jillian--GREAT post! My life has been the same. Well, except for the husband who designs promo stuff for me. Sadly, that's not the case here!

Just think...less than 5 days. Goose bumps!

Maureen Lipinski said...

Ha ha! When I was nine months pregnant, I had a book on submission, so every conversation was, "You having contractions yet?" quickly followed by "That book of yours sold yet?"

And my husband, sadly, has very few skills that translate into my writing career. Unless, of course, you count Awesome Wine Pouring, which will come in quite handy to calm any pre-launch nerves!

Jillian Cantor said...

Tracy, Yes, goose bumps!!! It still feels unreal, doesn't it?

Maureen, I would've been a total wreck in that case -- I don't know how you did it! And awesome wine pouring is very important indeed!!

Lesley Livingston said...

Oh boy. Can I ever relate!