So, my book has been out for one month and one day. How do I feel?
Hurt feelings? Not even, aw. But I do have feelings... Feelings that are best expressed in list form:
1. I feel a bit muddled with all of the social media stuff I’m kinda-sorta expected to do these days. Did I add the link to my website or just my facebook page? Should I tweet about it, or should I just retweet something someone already posted?* Where does my blog fit in to all of this?**
2. I feel pleased with the quantity of coverage I have received to date. Four reviews (one I only discovered today, despite it being published on 24 July), two articles in newspapers, two interviews on Radio, one story reprinted in full in a national newspaper. You can find links to all of these things here.
3. I feel pleased with the vibe of the coverage to date. Everything has been positive. Positive might not even be strong enough in some cases. Some reviews mentioned stories they didn’t like, which is fine. There’s a lot of stories (18) covering a lot of styles, moods and methods; mentioning the bum notes is any easy way for a reviewer to provide balance within a limited word count. But no two reviews have ‘not liked’ the same story.*** Everything has in some way mentioned my age, which is a bit weird. It’s not like I’m a 20 year old with a two book deal, or anything. If I was an All Black, people would be questioning how much I had left in the tank.
4. I feel excited about the few things that I know are still to come. Later this month a camera crew is coming to my flat to film a segment on my writing space for TVNZ7's fantastic 'The Good Word'. I'll also be appearing in a Writers on Mondays session at Te Papa on the 16th of August, and at the Christchurch Writers Festival in September.
5. I feel super excited about an opportunity which has not been sealed yet, and I don’t want to jinx it, but I would not be painting a full picture of my headspace at present if I neglected to even hint at it.****
6. I feel that any other coverage / opportunities will be a bonus.
7. I feel there may be some self-deception at work with number 6.
8. I feel a lot better about my website (craigcliff.com) now that I've kicked Weebly to the curb and resorted to using Blogger. Honestly, with Weebly it was a nightmare to edit text, which should be the simplest part. I also couldn’t resize pictures and had to jigger with the html to modify the colour scheme. And to be honest, it looked like a free website designed by a writer in his spare time. Blogger feels much more homely, and with the ability to add pages, it’s close enough to a real website for me (for now (for free)).
9. I feel as if I wrote a good story in the midst of the above (the taxi story I mentioned a couple of times here in July), and should finish two more stories by the end of August.
10. I feel that on 1 September 2010 I may just return to one of my abandoned novels and finish that sucker quick smart***** (that’s 5 asterisks, just skip to the last footnote).
* In the last three months or so twitter has come into its own. Either that or I finally understand what it's for. Either way, now that a number of Kiwi authors, publishers and other literary types are tweeting, there's a daily wealth of booky links to be had.
** I keep coming back to that 'opening the door on the creative process' thing I said yesterday. I still feel a bit dirty with all this thinly veiled self-promotion, but hopefully there’s enough honesty in these sorts of posts to be, I dunno, redemptive?^
^Factoid: I re-read David Foster Wallace’s ‘Consider The Lobster’ today, via Cool Tool’s Best Magazine Articles Ever (a link brought to my attention on Twitter, of course; hat tip: @GuySomerset); hence my footnotey ways today.
*** In a strange way this is more encouraging than all the stories they did ‘like’.
**** Rest assured I will spill the beans when it’s confirmed or falls through. Let’s just say it was something I didn’t ask for – I didn’t even think was on the cards at the moment but had considered doing one day. Even if it falls through, it was nice to know people had a conversation, names were thrown around, and mine was one that stuck. I’ve said too much.
***** (yep, that’s 5 asterisks, I counted) Define quick smart? Um, by March? Depends on when my wedding date is!