Sunday, September 25, 2011
NO EMAIL UNTIL NOON
“No email until noon.” It is a simple rule, designed to reduce the distractions plaguing this novice freelance writer. A person of stronger character could peruse his email, look only at the most pressing items, and get back to writing. Not me.
I established this rule yesterday. The allowable exceptions are yet to be determined. After I called our printer this morning, I broke it. They had sent me PDF files I really wanted to look at. The files were from a two-page spread in our local weekly paper, pages 4 and 5 all about Tina and me and my just-finished book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion. The editor had given the assignment to a “stringer,” a part-time, freelance writer, who herself is a poet and author, Lara Edwards. “This one is for you” or words to that effect, the editor had said. He did not assign it to the writer who covers our local “beat,” town meetings, open-air market openings, etc. Ms. Edwards daughter of a highly educated Turkish and American couple, a social worker herself, was the right person to do the piece. She did a magnificent job, breaking the first rule of journalism as practiced today: she read the book before interviewing me. She came prepared, adapted well to our conversation, wrote an article too good for the editor to abridge. Enough about Lara Edwards, let’s talk about me.
Rather than continue writing, I drove down to the printer and arranged for one hundred copies of the article to be printed. Admittedly, I don’t have that many friends and family members, but someday I will be sending the copies to people I hope will review the book. I may also hand them out from a stall at a county fair, to entice the rural visitors to buy our book about an interracial couple who have dealt successfully with the challenges of almost twenty years of separation, followed by Tina’s increasing disability due to multiple sclerosis. It’s upbeat, inspiring. I swear it is.
Now that I am home from the printer, I have resumed writing, by writing this. It is already eleven, which is almost noon. I’ll sign off here and check my email.