Time or Distance
At the end of one funny day, I posted on facebook my adventure that day: went to car repair, didn’t get done; printer’s for bookmarks, they weren’t ready; bookstore to drop off book samples, owner on vacation. Return new paper cutter that didn’t work; photo shop for reprints, out of business. Drove to car wash, Buddy laid in gum in their driveway; went to Cherokee Research & Education, closed; went to museum for research and discovered my plot line has to be trashed. If you live in the mountains you’ve already assumed I didn’t get home until supper. If you lived anywhere else you’d be home by lunch, or had a nice lunch out.
I left at 7:30 for Rosman car repair: 21 miles, 35 minutes. Brevard to the printer’s, just up the road 9 more miles, 12 minutes. Brevard to Hendersonville bookstore, 25 miles, 40 minutes. A quick hop to Arden, 13 miles, only 20 minutes. From Arden I head back down U.S. 64 passing home 1 hour 9 minutes later, 44 miles. Continue on to Highlands to the Photo shop, 18 miles, 29 minutes. From there to Franklin to get the car washed, 20 miles, 33 minutes (lucky), and with a clean car and sticky dog head to the Indian reservation 32 miles, or 37 minutes. Finally home, 1 hour 15 minutes, 53 miles. It was a lovely, funny, not-very-productive-kind-of day.
People are surprised how much I travel. But I’m surprised how many authors don’t. They use electronic media to sell their books, twitter, facebook, emails, internet ads, check their stats, and so on. When they relax it’s still on cells, ipads and computers. Like many working-from-home professionals, they are never not at work.
I came to this profession late in life. I promised myself when it was no longer fun, I’d stop. I write for the joy of sharing stories with others. My greatest joy is in handing them the story, in person. And that’s why I travel, to meet the people who want to read my stories and buy my books; to learn who they are, what they do, where they live and to write their stories. I’d sell more books if I stayed home and twittered, give my books away for 99 cents in Amazon. But that wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable.
Writers, I think, need to know why they are writing and who they are writing for. Authors have to decide what their goal is for any work in progress. Understand that to achieve that goal, there will be a sacrifice of something. It might be distance or it might be time. But it must be something that brings joy. Life’s too short and writing’s too hard for anything else. Enjoy every minute of it. Get some fresh air.