Marketing Is Easier Than Writing.

I’m coming off of a high.  High on my books.  High on my writing.  High on myself.   Except for edits and blogs and reviews and e-mails and FaceBook, I haven’t really worked since the exciting day my first novel was published.  Now I can’t remember how.

I’ve been very busy promoting myself.  Readings.  Signings.  Little talks in small venues that were thrilling because I got to say what I wanted and no one interrupted me.  At the best of times I watched eyes grow dreamy and inward-looking because of words I’d written.  After thirty years of not being published, read, or heard, who wouldn’t be high?

Now it’s time to write my new book, but I can’t get down to work.  It’s easier to be a marketer than a writer.

I flush with happiness over small PR successes, but beneath the blood rushing to my face is an emptiness that only writing can fill.  Working and playing well with others does not fill the void.  Neither does selling to others.

Not writing makes me feel as if I’m in an Edward Hopper painting.  Makes me feel like the main character in Tao Lin’s recent novel Taipei who leads the emptiest of lives, so empty, so without affect, that his entire days are filled with videos and digital cogitation on the subject of his own emptiness.

The character in Taipei is like a video or a software program operating inside his own mind.  He cannot live without his MacBook.

I am off-balance and restless.  The blank screen of myself needs fresh words.

If I am nothing more than a computer program that longs to know itself, then charge my battery and click me on.  Click me on to the file named “My New Novel.”  Do your best to keep me off of the Internet for a while.

Holland House Books

Literary Fiction

Marlene Lee

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