Launching a book and moving house are similar experiences. First, a warning. I don’t recommend doing both at the same time unless you’re either a little ADHD or somewhat masochistic. However, it occurred to me in the middle of the muddle when I was either too busy or too crazy tired to write, that there are some surprising similarities between the skill sets required to move house and those required to launch a book.
Evidence for the Comparison
A book launch prompts me to move from the creative to the pragmatic. I take off my free-association hat where balance and rhythm and flow are paramount and put on my promoter’s hat where I experience a steep learning curve on every issue. The business end of writing is a new place for me to explore, with many chances to fail. I have to work and guess and research, and hope I get it right in time to send my book where my fans can find it. I move from the love of what I do (writing stories) into the fear that the people who would love what I write might never know about it.
Moving house requires me to move from home owner with an eye for color, composition, and balance to a possessions owner with too much stuff. One of the hazards of the mid-west, as we all know, is the tornado. After living for eleven years terrified by every storm that this one had my number on it, three-quarters of the way into packing up my stuff I actively hoped for a tornado to take it all away into a neighboring state. I desperately wanted the simplicity of insurance money and a fresh start that would by-pass the heavy labor of filling and stacking boxes and eliminate the anguish of not being able to tell what matters. The tornado did not materialize, and my worldly goods are in PODS moving west across the great plains as I write this.
And so we see how a book launch takes me from the love of what is beautiful (and organized) into the anxiety of utter chaos, much like moving house.