Friday, December 3, 2010

website, handbook, and the art of prioritizing

Newly updated website! (Finally... and hurrah!)

Humbling, but true. Yes, the writer who advocates effective use of social media and connecting with others… fell off the map. Humbling? Yes. Hypocritical? Goodness, no. Because really, as great a medium as social media is, we writers also have a gazillion other responsibilities to manage and sometimes, well… sometimes that means we have to prioritize and fall off the dot com map for just a moment. Just long enough to breathe and catch up.

I do think social media is one of the most important tools we writers have in our proverbial toolbox, particularly in terms of keeping up with the community. How else would I hear about Jessie Carty’s adventures with her writing class or the lovely and talented Kelly Davio receiving not one, but two Pushcart nominations (!), or Jane Friedman’s first new coat in six year (completely relevant: we writers need to stay warm!). Social media – Facebook, Twitter, blogging, all of it – is necessary to my survival as a writer and necessary for my ‘keeping up with what’s what.’ Mostly, keeping connected online makes me feel like I’m not alone and, really, writing is pretty solitary, right, so why not feel part of a larger community?

And… yet… there comes a time or two in one’s writing life that the deadlines pile on, submissions are stacked high, editing awaits, and if a person has any sense of life in the real concrete world there are general life to-dos and busywork to be done. It’s normally quite easy to keep up with the online business while tending to all of the above, but sometimes even social media advocates need a break. As you can see from the lack of blog posts in the last week or so, I took that much-needed pause to just get back above water.

It’s all about balance. And balance is often a battle and one that never really goes away. Yet, it’s possible to find – make – the time to fit in all of these little tasks and bigger priorities, take a break, and come back healthier for it. It’s like tucking away a nearly complete poem or story and spending time away from it before revisiting with an editorial eye. Our brains just need a pause now and then.

But then we get back to work. So here I am, happy to be back and renewed, eager to share some upcoming events, releases, and post some new author Q&As to the blog, etc, etc. If you’d like to be a Q&A guest on here, please let me know! I’m happy to showcase emerging and established authors alike.

I’m sure over the next couple of months you’ll grow tired of it, but I have to start sharing some pretty exciting (to me, at least) news about my next release: The Low-Residency MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Creative Writing Students. I’ll save the hardcore info for another post, but you can get a sneak peek on my recently updated website. I’m also pretty stoked about some new poetry acceptances soon to appear in journals including Ragazine, Ramshackle Review, and Caper Literary Journal.

There’s much on the horizon so you’ll soon see… I may take a break now and then, but even in the quiet moments I’m working, working, working. It’s all a part of finding that balance we all seek.

Until next time…


  1. Great that you found that balance!

    It is a puzzle to juggle everything, I'm sure but sounds like you have made it work for you. Good to know that writing and academia can co-exist and flourish!

  2. Oh, yeah, it can all be an enormous 'time suck' and then, there's the question of whether it does pay off.

  3. I had to pull back a few weeks ago- a first in 4 years-- and found it so refreshing to catch up on real life things.