Wearing Many Caps

I knew when I stopped teaching full time that I would probably be trying to keep several balls in the air regarding my work endeavors. I’d hoped to be doing some substitute teaching, maybe a few days a month. That rather snowballed, and now it’s usually several days a week. I’d hoped to be acting occasionally, but I was so involved with other things that it took me a full year even to get around to reinstating my acting agent. I’d planned to be doing some writing, probably moving toward a second novel in my series. That plan came to fruition, albeit a lot faster than I had anticipated.

The above paragraph might seem to fulfill the title of this post, but in fact the teaching, acting, writing caps are not those to which I ‘m referring. When I learned that Red Rover was going to be published, I knew less than nothing about being a writer. Sure I could put a few sentences together and tell a story, but as I discovered, that is only the tip of the iceberg. I was aware that authors make appearances, but I associated those appearances with well-known writers. I knew there was something called a book launch, but my own was the first I had ever attended. As a teacher I was aware of some social media such as Facebook, but the most connected I had ever been was through my short email contacts list.

As I sit here writing this blog entry for my website, I marvel at all I’ve learned in the last year, and all the things that are now second nature to me. My morning routine has expanded from checking my email and playing Internet chess to checking three email accounts, checking Facebook and Twitter and possibly posting something, checking my website for comments and analytics, and then if I have time, playing Internet chess.

Social media is only one of the hats that I have on my writer’s hat-rack. Just looking back at the last week pretty much says it all. Last Sunday was Word on the Street in Toronto and some other Canadian cities. I spent a busy hour at the Crime Writers of Canada booth selling and signing copies of Red Rover. The rest of the day I attended readings to support writers I know, as well as some I don’t know. Tuesday I finished an ongoing interview with Julie Wilson for Canadian Bookshelf, so that it could be put on the website the next day. Wednesday I gave talks to two high school Careers classes about my various professions. Thursday I agreed to do a reading at Toronto Women’s Bookstore later in October. Friday I did social media to spread the word about my short story that had just been published. Squeezed in and around all those things I did a little writing.

It’s almost exactly a year since the publication of Red Rover. Looking back, I wish I’d known then what I know now about the realities of being a writer. I know I could have been more effective. Although it’s been a steep learning curve for me,  I feel much better prepared moving toward the publication of my second book next spring.

Time to switch caps and work on novel #3. See you next week.

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