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By the time a book is revised, edited, copy-edited, proofed, and sent to the printer, months have passed and the author is more than likely already working on her next project. Then, magically, and nearly forgotten, the book arrives, bound and sparkling, and the publicity begins. All new writing projects are now shelved and silenced, momentum interrupted, the “work” at the computer a different sort of work entirely. I have less taste for it than I used to when I was younger and hungry for recognition. Do I want people to like my book? Yes and no. Do I care if I make some money from the publication of a book? Of course. Do I want to have a launch party and readings? Not really. I want to get to my next project.

Few writers I know look back on published work with nostalgia, vanity, or regret. (I can hardly look back at my journals except to cull ideas.) Whatever we are working on –at the moment-is of the most interest and concern. What’s working, what isn’t? Is this the best I can do? When will I have time to write this week? It’s a completely absorbing solitary endeavor. So having to stand up in front of an audience and read from my last published work, however recent that “last” may be, feels like an interruption. That’s odd, I know, and maybe other writers feel differently, I just haven’t met them.

So I’m in the midst of publicity for my first murder mystery, “Say Nothing.” It’s up on amazon, it’s “live,” and I am sending out press releases every day, all day. My next project will be nonfiction. But when will I get to it? Thank goodness I have my notebooks, this blog, and my students to keep my mind from addling too much during this least-favorite stage of the writing life.

I had a student once, Stan Alpert, who came into my class to write about being kidnapped on his birthday. He's a lawyer by profession so he didn't seem to mind the publicity he got when the book was published and then optioned as a film. He didn't have a "next" project in the wings, not that I know of anyway. Stan, if you are reading this, please let me know how so much publicity, endless publicity, constant publicity, has effected your writing life.

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