As a debut author, it's my first instinct to say yes. To every single interview, all the guest post requests, each and every giveaway. As a new writer with a new book, in a flood of well-established writers and books, I want to get SOME QUIET PLACE out there as much as possible. Which is why it was a hard-learned lesson, the fact that I can't do everything.
For a few weeks, it was chaos. I was attempting to respond to anyone mentioning me on Twitter, trying to say "yes" to all those e-mails, and all the while juggling school and work and having a life beyond my laptop. Then there was BEA and signings. Near the end of my trip, everything sort of buried me, and I cried. Actually cried.
This may seem dramatic or, frankly, idiotic. "Why not just say no in the beginning, or when things got to be too much?" you might be asking. Honestly, I have been. It was hard and I hate disappointing anyone, but it's necessary. I came to the realization that - though it's important to be available and get exposure for the book - there needs to be a limit. There needs to be time for me to actually write the next book and maybe watch a Vampire Diaries rerun. There needs to be time for Kelsey the person, along with Kelsey the author. Don't get me wrong, I adore being both. At separate times, simultaneously, every day. It's when I forgot to pause and take a breath that things got gnarly.
So if you did send me a request, and I turned you down, I do apologize. It didn't feel good to say no. But it was right. Because when we try to do everything, we end up wanting to do nothing. And that's not fun for anyone.
Cross-posted from The Secret Life of Writers.