Earlier this week, David Ebenbach wrote about what makes a creative process and a short story Jewish. His blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
The period immediately after your book comes out is a wonderful and strange time. On the one hand, the work you’ve done — which for most of its existence just hung out on the hard drive of your computer, feeling not quite real — is now in front of you, in a very concrete form, between two covers. Your work is a book, a thing with mass and substance, an object that other folks can find and get and read — maybe even folks you don’t know! In that way it’s the joyous culmination of perhaps years of work and efforts to get the work published.
On the other hand, it’s definitely a weird time. The main weirdness is that, when your book comes out, suddenly you’re probably doing all kinds of unusual things to help the book succeed: you may be giving readings, driving from one bookstore to another, sitting on panels, Googling yourself way too much and checking your Amazon Rank (please don’t, if you can help it) — and also perhaps doing what I’m doing here, which is writing about writing. Every one of these activities is the result of very good fortune — you couldn’t be doing them if you hadn’t gotten that book into print — and they’re generally a lot of fun (aside from Googling and Amazon Ranking, the dangers of which I cannot stress enough). Yet you’ll notice that there’s one thing missing from that list of activities: aside from writing about writing, you may not be doing very much writing at all — not the kind that probably led to the actual book you’re now holding in your hands.