The Author’s Hobson’s Choice

During the last few weeks of 2012, I faced three choices which were all attractive but also had an equally bad downside. I felt trapped. There was no clear choice and no way to prioritize them and I could feel the stress.

Choice one was emotional – work on a new novel that has a working title of CHERUBS 2. I’d just figured out the plot line and wanted to get well into writing the first few chapters and the detailed plot outline. More about this book in a later blog.

Choice two was to start on the changes that Fireship Press wants me to make. The editing is hard work and requires rewriting and editing what I already think is good.

Choice three was to continue calling magazines to inquire about the possibility of a review or museums and associations about book signings. It felt too much like my day job. I couldn’t pick up the phone to make the calls I needed to make. It is not that I didn’t know who to call, it is making the call and sending the e-mails. For someone who has spent a large part of my career in sales and marketing, the phone became a six hundred pound weight. Ouch!

Complicating this set of choices was that my day job – the one that pays for my writing habit – got in the way. What is normally a slow period became quite hectic.

My stress levels went way up and I felt I fell into a trap that claims many authors. It is a Hobson’s choice – work on your next book or promote the last one. There’s not good answer and to most writers, the rush is working on the next book, not pushing the one that is already in print. In your mind, it is already history!

So New Year’s resolution number 1 is to make the needed calls! Tomorrow, the first full week of the year is the day to start. I’ve procrastinated long enough.

Marc Liebman