Juggling Books

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Do you ever have trouble taking too much out on your plate? You know you’ll never be able to eat it all or you know you shouldn’t eat it all if you ever want to be happy again reading the numbers on your bathroom scales. I don’t have too much trouble with dipping out too much food on my plate any more. My problem is having the munchies. Do you think that’s contagious?

No, my problem right now is overloading my plate with work. I think I can do it all. Facebook. Twitter. (Although I have to admit I’m not sure I’m not about to fall out of that tree. It’s so noisy with all that tweeting going on that I’m not sure anybody is listening to anybody else.) Then there’s blogging. I like blogging. Of course I’ve been a confirmed journal keeper since I was a kid. Of course I never expected to keep any kind of journal that wasn’t hidden away in a drawer.

I’ve got plenty of those journal notebooks dating back to when I was about twelve. Journals are a great stress reliever for a writer. A great place to vent about your frustrations and worries, doubts and disappointments. A shoulder to cry on that can absorb whatever you want to say. But on the flip side, it’s also a great place to record the successes of your writing life. Those first sales. The times you write “the end.” The times you write “Chapter 1.” The times the words come fast and furious and the story blooms in your mind. It’s good to write about those so that when you need encouragement because you think you can’t write another good word, you can go back and see that you have written other books all the way through even when the middle was giving you fits. You can see that although some books were rejected leaving you dejected, other books were accepted leaving you ecstatic.

Right now I’m needing some of that encouragement as I try to get going on my new Shaker book. I’ve set a goal of doing five pages a day. I’m behind already on my page count, but I’m started even though what happens next is going to be as much a surprise to me as it would be to you. I like being surprised sometimes by my stories, but I’m thinking I need to know a smidgen about what’s going to happen next. I’m getting the feeling that this bunch of characters is laughing at me and daring me to figure out their stories.

I’m anxious to get some pages written because my plate keeps getting more dipped out on it. I’m blessed with three books in various stages of getting ready for publication. This weekend I’ll probably need to start line edits on the Shaker book due out this summer. Right on the heels of that my editor is going to suggest ways to improve my book set in Louisville during the 1850s. And then there’s Angel Sister due out in ten days. I’m soooo excited about that and want to do some things to spread the news about this story. There are internet interviews to do, newsletters to get out, a website to update, book launches to plan. And I am going to come up with some kind of giveaway to celebrate just as soon as I decide what to give away. I usually give away books, but I was wondering if I might do something different this time. Maybe gift cards. But I do like giving away books.

So I’m juggling books along with all the other things that have to be done. Taking care of Mom, seeing the grandkids, church, cooking and sweeping the floor now and again. We all have to do some juggling from time to time and we all have trouble keeping everything up in the air.

Even Barbara Walters who has probably spent a lifetime juggling everything she does. Here’s what she says. “Most of us have trouble juggling. The woman who says she doesn’t is someone whom I admire but have never met.”

So I’m not going to worry if I drop a ball while I’m juggling my too full plate. I’ll just grab whatever it is and pitch it back into the air and feel blessed to have three books to be juggling. Stressed but very blessed. Hope your plate is full of blessings and spinning right along.