Monday, June 13, 2011

There's Only So Much

*Don't forget about the contest to win one of three Supernaturally ARCs!*

I'm not saying yes to any guest posts. I haven't answered email in months. And I'm not doing any interviews at all other than the ones set up for me by third parties.

Honestly? I'm tired. I'm editing two books and planning/doing promo for a third, I'm trying to figure out how to work and still give my kids an awesome summer vacation, I'm trying to be a wife and a friend and a person. Sometimes it's hard to be a person, you know?

You might say, "Look at all the time you spend on your blog! Or on twitter! Surely in the time it takes you to write a series of silly tweets you could have answered ten emails, or responded to an interview!"

Well, maybe. But here's my reasoning:
1. I enjoy twitter and blogging. When I post things on twitter or on my blog, anyone can see them. When I answer an email, one person can see it. Twitter and blogging are easy ways to interact with thousands of fans/readers. Email is a time-consuming way to connect with a single reader. Do I hate email? Absolutely not! I love it. I read every single email I get and I appreciate the people who take the time to write. But I will admit that it gets a little bit overwhelming, and I haven't had the energy to answer them in a while. Sometimes it's too much, knowing how many people out there feel like they're connected to me through my writing and want to extend that connection on a more personal level. I understand and appreciate it! But there are just. so. many. That's all there is to it. I will eventually answer, but...emphasis on eventually.
2. Interviews. Oh, interviews. When I was getting ready for Paranormalcy's release, I had a policy of saying yes to every interview request. Didn't matter if the blog had two or two hundred or two thousand readers. I said yes. And by the end I wanted to bash my brains out with my MacBook.

Me:

"Wow, these interviews use up a lot more creative energy than I thought they would. And they take a lot more time than I thought they would, too, even when they are limited on question number."

Me:

"Wow. Most of these interviews ask the same questions (because it's natural and people are curious about the same types of things). But if I answer them all exactly the same way, that will be boring and no one will want to read them. So I have to come up with new ways to answer everything each time."

Me:

"IF I HAVE TO ANSWER HOW I CAME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR PARANORMALCY ONE MORE TIME I SWEAR I WILL TASE MYSELF."

Me:

"OH MY GOSH THIS INTERVIEW MIGHT BE THE ONLY CHANCE I HAVE TO CONVINCE THAT ONE READER WHO WON'T KNOW ABOUT MY BOOK OTHERWISE THAT I AM FUNNY AND CHARMING AND A GOOD WRITER AND THEY SHOULD READ MY BOOK BUT OH MY GOSH I AM SO TIRED AND THE FUNNY IT IS BROKEN AND I AM GOING TO BLOW IT AND THIS INTERVIEW WILL JUST CONVINCE THEM THEY ARE RIGHT TO PASS UP MY BOOK AND READ NEIL GAIMAN AGAIN INSTEAD AND REALLY HOW CAN I ARGUE WITH THAT??"

Me:

"HA HA HA I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I JUST WROTE IN THAT INTERVIEW BECAUSE IT WAS THE FIFTEENTH ONE IN A ROW I ANSWERED TRA LA LA I WILL NEVER DO ANYTHING BUT ANSWER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE."

Me:

*cries quietly in the corner*

So yeah, it wasn't my brightest idea. Trying to be clever in interviews sucked up an enormous amount of time and left me creatively drained. I didn't write a single new book in 2010. I edited a couple, but I drained myself dry doing everything else.

I won't do that again.

So this time around I am doing a blog tour with only a handful of interviews, organized for me by an incredibly lovely and gracious blogger. I didn't pick who gets the interviews. I'm not playing favorites. I just can't figure out any other way to do this whole author thing and still get to be a person. My priorities are on my family, and enjoying the writing again, and being happy, and trying to add author to all of the other things in the best way I can. So that means using my established platforms that I enjoy to be silly and connect with you all in a small way, and it also means saying no.

A lot.

I don't like saying no, but it's become a very important part of my vocabulary. (Even more important than "fustigate." Maybe even more than "chocolate." Definitely not more than "sleep," though.) Because I've realized that I give you my books and my stories, but I get to choose how much of myself to give, and in what ways, and that's okay. It's different for every author. And what works for me this year or even this month might change during the next.

I'm not apologizing. I need to take care of myself. But I am also not brushing off my readers. I am so incredibly grateful every single day that people care, and that they care as much as they do. It's amazing. I appreciate all of you more than you understand. I'll continue writing books and blogging and tweeting. But for now I've discovered that a gracious, humble, I'm-so-grateful-for-awesome-fans-but-I-just-can't-do-more-right-now "no" is my writing's best friend.

Probably my sanity's best friend, too.

Also the corner is grateful that I'm not curled up in it crying, because seriously. It was getting old.

32 comments:

witchoftheatregoing said...

The unpopular opinion(tm): I agree with you. Wholeheartedly. I know a lot of people are going to give you shit for this, but you're absolutely right. YOU have to choose how much of yourself you give. It's become very disturbing how much entitlement people think they have toward artists, writers, actors, and the like as of late. Or maybe that's me getting older, I'm not sure.

Though I wish you were on my interview list, I understand why you're posting this. This is for your own sanity and to protect your own amount of creative energy. So I ain't mad at all. <3

You have to take care of you, because no one else will. That's what it comes down to.

Usagi

Liberty Speidel said...

You got to do what you got to do. :) I know that all to well. While I'm trying to get geared up to entice an agent to work with me, I've had to set priorities, and those are my husband, my kids, my son's health (he's chronically ill), and my writing. Anything outside that, no matter how much I enjoy it, get's a firm "no" to. Even activities I've been doing for two decades.

So, do what you have to, Kiersten. Your family (and I'd assume your agent) will thank you for it. And, we readers will thank you for it... eventually. ;)

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

Brilliant!

You're out there in social media so we can see that you're working on more great reads for US. That's really all we need to know.

Have a great vacation!

Melissa said...

To be honest I would rather you spend the little sanity you have left writing new books than answering questions from people. Trust me from a girl who has very little sanity left herself--protect it with everything you can!

lora96 said...

Hey, here's the thing I remember most from teacher college for dealing with children (works for adults too):

SAY YES WHEN POSSIBLE SAY NO WHEN NECESSARY.

As in, you NEED to say no. It's your right. And we want your creativity and brilliance--both of which spring from a reasonably rested and happy person, not an overwhelmed and tormented one.

I think your plan makes a great deal of sense and we (the people of KierstenFanville) get that being an excellent mother, a loving wife and a fantastic author take a ton of energy and time. We didn't buy you at a slave auction and we are not entitled to your last drop of blood, honey!

Hilarious post, btw. :) It's kinda how I feel about parent teacher conferences but they only last a week.

Rick Daley said...

Ah, whatever, you're still an inspiration for those of us struggling along the path.

;-)

patdwhite said...

Next time you come visit i will hide all of the computers, iPhones', and any other internet capable devices. You will just have to be mom on vacation with the family.

And I will require that you go to JCW's with me and get a ridiculously large shake.

Love you tonz!!

Michelle Wolfson said...

I don't know who that was that thought your agent would thank you. Whatever. What I want to know is when are you finally finally going to ever do an interview on my blog??

Shallee said...

Absolutely understand. I can't even imagine how busy you must be right now! I had to learn to say no as well (though not for this kind of thing), and there's definitely nothing wrong with it. If it saves your sanity, it's okay! :)

Daisy Whitney said...

Totally agree with you!

Mundie Moms said...

You are amazing & you have to do what is best for you!! Keep up your great work!! Virtual HUGS!!!

Anne-Mhairi Simpson said...

Good for you. That you didn't get to write a book last year SUCKS. I hope things balance out more in future. 'No' has its uses :) You can't do everything.

Cara said...

I think you explained your situation wonderfully. I think a lot of people/bloggers/readers, including myself, sometimes forget just how much authors do on a daily basis while still trying to retain some semblance of sanity.

So thank you for taking the time to blog and tweet and generally entertain all of us! Keep writing kick ass books. I'd much rather have that than an email any day. :)

Athena said...

Well, would people rather read your books or read interviews with you that say the same thing every time? I think I'd go with the first. Thanks for letting all of us know!

Kate Margaret said...

I don't think anyone would really have a problem with less -- or even none at all -- interviews. That's what FAQ's are for :D

I'd bet that each and every one of us is glad you're putting your foot down, and as so many other people have said, we'd much rather read books than interviews.

Amber said...

I have leaped into following authors and the blogging world recently and I say daily to someone or other, "It's shocking how much author's do! Where do they find all the time? I could never do it!" So to hear somebody say that they won't do it all for their own happiness is very comforting. Anyone who doesn't understand that - well they weren't worth your time to answer personally anyway.

Kate said...

Yeah, I totally understand. Trust me, we know you do so much, and we are so grateful that you do what you do as much as you do, so you don't need to worry about letting us down! Not at all. Thanks for everything! :)

Carradee said...

*pats on back*

I get what you mean. I've lately realized I need to put time limits on my Twitter/blogging/commenting, else I'll never get any writing done—you know, what pays the bills. >_>

So. Take a deep breath, back up, and enjoy your summer! :D

linda said...

I'm so glad you're making time for yourself and prioritizing the things that are important to you. Thanks for being an inspiration.

Vicki Rocho said...

Good for you!

I hear this same story from so many people. We seem doomed to take on more than we can handle and then feel guilty when we can't handle it. I don't know why we do this to ourselves, but am happy to hear you're leading by example and setting limits that work for you.

Whirlochre said...

This is exactly what happened to The Beatles. In his book, If It Hadn't Been For This Book We'd Have Had Another Album Between Yellow Submarine And Abbey Road Probably Called The Fantastic Horse Or Something, Lennon writes, "shortly after we recorded Yellow Submarine, we all kind of got lost off a little. Paul opened that tea rooms off the Old Kent Road, Ringo started breeding chimpanzees, George fell downstairs and broke his collar bone, and, inspired by the mountains of fans' questions, I wrote a kind of autobiography entitled If It Hadn't Been For This Book We'd Have Had Another Album Between Yellow Submarine And Abbey Road Probably Called The Fantastic Puma Or Something — a project which turned into the book you're reading now (albeit with a slight change of title)".

Rue Davis said...

Just go kiss your kids and hubby and give them a thousand virtual hugs from all your fans. Tell them thanks for letting us share you with them.

Kare said...

I would much rather your creative juices go into your future books then into interviews :D keep being awesome!! also: *dances awkwardly in complete happiness*

jackie b central texas said...

As someone who two years ago never dreamed of all the fun I would have connecting online with authors and with avid readers all over the world it is nice to know that your self preservation instinct has kicked in and you are going to do what is necessary for your sanity and your health! Good for you, NO is a harsh word for women, it does not mean you are a bad person it means there is only so much you can do before your head explodes from the stress!
As a fan of your books I would rather you use your creative talent the way it is used best, more good reading material in between a book cover....

meredith-rose said...

Way to keep sane, Kiersten. It's never good to stretch yourself too thin and doing so many interviews can do that, I'm sure! (And I'm sure there are more about Supernaturally since Paranormalcy came out and you're even more popular now ;p) And if anybody tries to bully you into an interview, you can just tase them. ;)

Meredith :)

My anxious life said...

I am sure it is hard to say no... I hope this isn't because I asked you to stop by goodreads! EEK!

Angie

XOXO Angela's Anxious Life

Annie said...

*applaudes*

Krystal said...

I think that's awesome! :) btw, I read tick tick boom and loved it, so whatever keeps the writing coming is good for me.

Roni Loren said...

Thank you for doing this post. My debut novel doesn't come out until January and already I'm feeling the stress of guest posts and interviews.

I had no idea they would suck up so much time! I mean, it's an interview, right? Answer a few questions, whatevs. But like you said, all of a sudden you feel this pressure to be awesome and witty. And why is writing a guest post so much harder than writing a post for my own blog which I do pretty easily five days a week?

Anyway, nice to hear it from someone on the other side of a blog tour. I think I'll do my best to pick and choose my promo carefully so that I don't end up completely burning out on it.

Kiersten White said...

Angie--No, absolutely not!! There was no specific thing that pushed me here. I made this policy a few months ago, actually, just so I'd already have it set and could lessen the guilt factor : )

PaoMtzP said...

Okay you just scared me. I'm writting a book and I want to be an author but with all THIS? OMG!!

Anonymous said...

hahhahahhahahahah omg your pretty awesome :)