lost in the blog bog

since i’ve published Witness, i’ve been at the computer most every spare moment, scouring the net for places to review my book, looking for other writer’s sites for inspiration/encouragement, hunting down list after list of literary agents, book publishers, magazines and ezines, and culling through them all to find those that are accepting submissions or queries. this doesn’t include the blatant attempts to join all the social networking sites i could find just so people might be linked back here and then possibly hook them into Witness.

so? isn’t that what i’m supposed to be doing? well, yes, i believe so, anyway. being self-published, how else am i going to make this happen? it won’t do it on its own. which leads to the cold-call visits to local bookstores (independent and chain) to ask them to carry my book, which usually means checking back in a couple weeks, and sometimes being forgotten by then.

but i digress. the former is my current bogeyman, the latter is simply the necessary legwork.

while i still believe it necessary for me to hunt the web, i’ve found myself overwhelmed and often distracted by the innumerable options and possible sites. how to validate one against the other? how to choose one (or even ten!) agents from the 93 currently listed on as having an interest in fantasy/sf lit? how to choose which book publisher, magazine, etc. to send to? yes, the short answer is some version of ‘all of them’, but it’s not that simple, and i don’t want to simply blast in case that comes back to haunt me.

so there’s the research, and this is where i find myself losing focus. in trying to gather a list of sites to stay on top of, of blogs who i want to pay attention to, i’ve lost hours and hours of real work time. time i could have been writing. time i should have been writing. time i must use for writing.

so, i spent the bulk of this bright and crisp Easter morning trying to cull my lists from ridiculously unmanageable to simply foolhardy, and let the rest go. i still have plenty to work on, but what it really comes down to is realizing that i’ve allowed myself to get stuck in this blog bog (that particular term being the inspired creation of my wife when i found myself again adrift in a sea of possibilities), and i need to get out.

i know i can’t keep on top of everyone’s posts or blogs or sites and i know i need to stay focused on what i’m supposed to be doing, which is writing, but i can’t shake the fear of losing any possible momentum with Witness. i don’t mean to put all my eggs in one basket, but i worry about missing an opportunity with the book, that i need to keep at it.

so it all comes down to fear. i’ve managed to do the very thing i consciously intended not to: associate my worth as a writer with the success of this first novel. not really surprising, of course, but frustrating and more than a little unsettling. i want to be able to keep going with other works, but part of me wonders why i should if nobody finds this book worth reading in the first place. i can write other things, and i will, but, well, okay, so i’m acting like a fragile flower. what a whiner. i need to move on.