I have received several kind queries lately, asking about my absence from this site as well as from social media. There are several reasons for that, including my belief that publishing the mundane aspects of one’s life are not only of limited interest, but could be construed as arrogance, as if my life were so fascinating that the public surely wants to know more, more, more.
On the other hand, I write for public consumption, thus declaring to the world that I have something to say worth reading, and I profess in a university setting, where I assemble the wisdom of others and present it in a form repackaged by me along with my conclusions that I believe will help change the way these bright young people think about and act in the world. So, maybe disclaiming arrogance isn’t the most persuasive argument for me to use.
The second contributor to my break was marketing fatigue. I have been promoting my writing and speaking with the help of a talented and energetic publicist, and have learned that I simply do not enjoy the effort it takes to try and succeed commercially in the world of fiction. It’s very challenging, but I’ve always enjoyed challenges. What I don’t enjoy is the culture of this industry, where it’s okay to ignore requests, where the soul-exposing, ego-bruising willingness to share your deepest, most important thoughts and ideas and work are rarely acknowledged, even with a simple “no, thank you.” Although there are many exceptions, as a rule, it is an uncivil industry that hides behind how busy its members claim to be, and use that as an excuse to ignore good manners. I’m tired of that.
Last, and first, actually, I’ve been struggling with an illness experience that has set me back, more psychologically that physically. It has been an interesting and useful experience that I would gladly have missed, but as with most things in life, good can come of it, and I think has come of it.
So, maybe I’m back, maybe not. I’m writing here today, which is something, and I’m going to try and write more often. I am writing a third novel now, the sequel to the first, and when it is finished, I plan to hire an editor to help shape it into the best book it can be, and then I plan to publish it myself, avoiding the two years of sending out queries and manuscripts, most of which went unacknowledged, except for the disclaimer that I was not to ask about the status of my material, and that if I hadn’t heard from them in six or twelve months, then I could assume that my submission was not right for them. I’ll market and distribute my book the best way I can, and expect nothing more than the satisfaction of having written a decent story. That, and the kindness and well-wishes of my relatively small but deeply valued collection of friends and readers, who mean more to me than I can express in a blog.