I'd never used the word "ancillary" in my life until my first publishing days. Now I know and sometimes dread the word. Every job has aspects to it that outsiders don't know about or assume are done by someone else. Writers have a ton of ancillary tasks that not only aren't as much fun as writing, they actually take away from writing time.

First, of course is promotion, but there are a thousand things that come up. In my head I keep saying, "Maybe next week I can get back to my WIP." But there are talks to give and handouts to make and toner cartridges to replace and bookmarks to design and, and, and. None of these things is particularly difficult, but time slips away. I started at 7:00 am (as usual) this morning, and when I looked at the clock and realized it was 11:00, I had finished one task: some booklets for a writers' workshop on Saturday.

The bad part? I'd forgotten to blog.

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Comment by Jon Loomis on October 1, 2009 at 5:23am
It is stressful. I burn through a lot of adrenalin over the course of a semester.
Comment by Peg Herring on October 1, 2009 at 1:53am
I did some classroom teaching last week, and it reminded me of why I left. The kids were great, but preparing to "dazzle" them daily is just too much!
Comment by Jon Loomis on October 1, 2009 at 12:08am
Between me and my writing, I mean. Not enough coffee yet...
Comment by Jon Loomis on October 1, 2009 at 12:08am
I don't do any of that stuff. The only thing that gets between and my writing is my 70-hour-a-week teaching job. Oh, and I am giving a talk to the Alumni Association today--for free!

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