Longing for Balance, Post-launch

On Monday, our newest Emu Tamara Ellis Smith wrote a beautiful post about the longing that accompanies the journey toward publication. It’s a feeling that many, many writers aspiring to become published know, and one that I knew well for many years.

Born on July 10, 2014!

Born on July 10, 2014!

But now, I’m on the other side of the fence. All Four Stars has been out in the world for a month and a half, and I’ll be hanging up my Emu feathers before long. Has the longing evaporated?

No, of course not—but it has changed. For weeks around when my book came out, when my life felt swallowed up by launch-party planning and online promotion efforts, I longed to get back to my quiet, boring, normal routine and write. Finally, the chaos of launch has passed, and I’ve been able to do that, and now I have even more appreciation for it than I did before.

But now that I am writing again, I long to do it better—to dig deeper into my new characters, to send them on better-plotted journeys and describe their actions with more beautiful sentences. I’m thrilled that my first novel has been published, but I long to up my game in future ones.

But most of all, I long to find balance. I want to focus enough energy on promoting my published book that readers will continue to discover it even after the push of launch-time is over. But I also want to write new books. And I want to continue to travel and have the adventures and experiences that inspire my stories in the first place. Basically, I long for my old, prepublished lifestyle to continue while I also integrate my new obligations as a published author into it. A tall order, perhaps, but each day I’m finding my way.

All that said, finally being published after years of working toward it is undeniably sweet. There is nothing quite like a stranger—someone who has no reason to coddle or lie to you—telling you that they loved reading your book. And if that stranger is a kid, even better. And if they come to your latest book event and tell you in person, EVEN BETTER.

This actually happened last weekend.

This actually happened last weekend.

Yeah…life after launch isn’t so bad.


Tara DairmanTara Dairman is a novelist, playwright, and recovering world traveler. All Four Starsher debut middle-grade novel about an 11-year-old who secretly becomes a New York restaurant critic, was published on July 10, 2014 by Putnam/Penguin.

Find her online at taradairman.com, and on Twitter at @TaraDairman.


Filed under Book Promotion, Book signing, Happiness, Launch, Promotion, Satisfaction

11 responses to “Longing for Balance, Post-launch

  1. Lindsey Lane

    This post reminds me how life is this continual dance with shifting rhythms: the thrum of longing; the fevered pitched of deadlines; the steady beat of eating and sleeping; the tap-tap-tap of our keyboards and the quickstep of surprise. on and on. Lovely.


  2. Tara, this was filled with awesome. I’m already feeling that six weeks ahead of my launch! I also long for a balance, and it’s difficult to find. I have eggs scattered in so many baskets that I always feel like I’m falling short of a full dozen. But this is a really busy time for me, so I keep telling myself: there’s a time and a season for everything. Just focus on what’s needed most at this very moment. But deep done inside, all I really want to do us write! 🙂


  3. Sounds to me like your attitude is alligned in exactly the right direction for success.


  4. “Life after launch” and leaving EMUs already? Yikes! Is it just me or did that happen really fast? It’s funny how you wish and you wait for a thing and then suddenly it’s behind you and everything is different and you find yourself kind of wishing it hadn’t happened yet. I feel that way every December. I resist listening to holiday music and hold off on baking the cookies… and then all of a sudden it’s January and I feel like I never really immersed myself in the holiday season! Never do seem to find the right balance. Let me know when you figure it out. 😉


  5. tamaraellissmith

    This is amazing, Tara. And for me, it is a timely reminder to fully enjoy the phase and place I am in, because, without a doubt, I will miss it when I move on. You sound so centered and strong. Yay!


  6. It IS a very sweet feeling and will continue deep inside even as life gets more frantic in many ways as a published writer. Those moments with MG reader fans and fan mail are The Best! Congratulations to you, Tara!


  7. Thanks for giving me hope that there’s life after launch, Tara! I’m in the thick of it right now, and yes, it is taking over my life. It has been weeks since I wrote anything new (other than posts for the blog tour!), and I’m definitely longing for my quiet, boring, normal writing routine. I have been worrying that there will be no balance to be found post-launch, but now I know who to call for advice! 😉


  8. I love that photo of you with your fan! So sweet. I was just having a conversation with a friend today about the struggle for balance in life. Your post (and the comments up above) give me a lot of good food for thought.


  9. Longing is probably why we write in the first place. And I think you and Tam are right. It’s going to change shape but it isn’t going to go away. Which is probably a good thing.


  10. Lindsey’s words ” life is this continual dance with shifting rhythm” describe it all pretty well, don’t they? Finding balance while dancing is hard to do. It’s reassuring to hear you’re finding your way 🙂


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