What am I doing here when I could be writing? (Originally posted on Goodreads.com Feb. 17, 2013.)

Most of the fiction writers I know would rather work on new material than spend their energy promoting completed projects. I’ve had agents; I’ve had publishers, and I’ve generated material independently, but no matter how my stories went public, they all require that I keep doing the chicken dance (imagine arm-flapping, squawking, and other anti-social behaviors) in the hope that readers will find them.

And, just so you know, the chicken dance is tiring. It might not be if I were any good it. But despite reading countless “How-To” articles on self-promotion and agonizing over a useful definition of my target market, I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be smarter to invest in lottery tickets on the off chance that I’d win big and be able to afford to hire a public relations agency to go out and honk my horn for me.

{Blatttt!}

But then I’d worry about blasting out some poor schlub’s eardrums and thereby earning his or her eternal enmity.

{Sigh}

If only I couldRevised Blues cover get away with just saying something like: Hi! Would you please give one of my books a try? Resurrection Blues would be a great place to start.  You’ll have a good time, I promise. Lots of oddball characters, some interesting history, a respectable volume of laughs, and a plot that hasn’t been done to death. What more could a reader want?

But that never seems to be enough. Wait! Maybe I can find a recorded version of a “How To” article. That way I can listen to it while I drive to the convenience store to buy my Lotto ticket/Potential PR campaign.

About joshlangston

Grateful and well-loved husband, happy grandparent, novelist, editor, and teacher. My life plate is full, and I couldn't be happier. Anything else I might add would be anticlimactic. Cheers!
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2 Responses to What am I doing here when I could be writing? (Originally posted on Goodreads.com Feb. 17, 2013.)

  1. fayem810 says:

    Dear Josh, I’ve just spent an hour and a half reading (and fallin’ outta my chair laffing) your blog. I’m one of your Non-fiction writing students who you have labored over tirelessly trying to stop my constant use of “is, are, was, were.” I knew you were a brilliant writer, but after reading your blog you are more brilliant that I thought. I just hope a little bit of your incredible creativity rubs off on me in your class. Thank you for being you. I’ve just started “Treason Treason” and I think it is your best yet.
    Hugs and love,
    Faizie

    • joshlangston says:

      You’re terribly kind, and I’m sure my mother would agree with you that I’m brilliant–thanks to her genes, of course. But the rest of the world knows I’m mostly just fakin’ it. I enjoyed working on Treason, Treason! It was a fascinating period in history.

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