From now until at least the end of 2012 I'll be on a sabbatical (of sorts). This means I won't be reading or considering manuscripts, writing reviews or blurbs, participating in panels, attending conferences and bookfairs, organizing readings or literary events (other than the one reading at my home that I've already committed to doing) or other things of that nature that I have not already agreed to do. I have to draw this line for a while -- even though it means not being able to personally support other poets as much as I'd like and to the extent that they may deserve.
These past couple years I've had a challenging time focusing on my own work and meeting the commitments I already obligated myself to doing. I flaked out on too many things lately because I just couldn't manage to get it all done or keep it all straight. While I may not receive the number of requests a better known writer receives, I receive several a week on average. Some weeks, like this one, I receive more than one a day. Some requests are minor, some are not so minor. Sometimes the person asking believes it to be a much less consuming request than I perceive it to be.
For instance, people asking for a blurb or review with less than a month turnaround are sort of exasperating. This happens a lot so I put this out there as a public service announcement: You really should give 3 months (closer to 6 months, if you're asking a "big name"). It will not just take me a "couple hours" to do (I don't work that fast) and I (like most people) don't have gobs of spare hours in any week. Those kinds of rush requests are asking me to drop another commitment or sacrifice my own writing time. Even if I'm really excited about your upcoming book, you're making it difficult for me to help you out. In some cases, I have dropped something or given up my own writing time, but that's not going to be the case going forward.
This is not directed at any specific person. One of my reasons for posting this is so I can refer people to this "announcement" to show that I'm really not blowing them off. Or at least not them specifically. I'm blowing off the world and I'm a total chick worrying that people will be mad at me for saying no to them.
I am still supporting all the No Tell Books titles -- so if you need a review copy, need to be put in contact with one of the authors, etc., I'm here for that.
And of course I'm still here as a human being. I'm not retreating into a cave. I'll still be responding to emails. I'll still be blogging. I'll still be on FB and Goodreads. I still want to hear from friends and kind people who just want to say hello.