LORI RADER-DAY, a writer getting ready for her debut novel launch party, sits at her computer in pajamas and unkempt hair. A long list of things to-do rests at her side. She opens the document where the calendar of Debutante Ball topics are listed.
She hums softly to self, scrolling through the list.
LORI: What the—?
CLOSE UP of laptop screen. The screen reads that the topic of the week is “How to Avoid Overwhelmed Author Syndrome.”
Lori begins to laugh, uproariously at first and then maniacally, until the laughter dissolves into tears.
The camera pans to the to-do list, where many things are not crossed off.
Hey. So…what’s new?
Oh, right. I have a book out now. La, la.
And as I write this post, I have a launch party in Chicago in seven hours. And a launch party in my hometown in six days, then an event in Indianapolis the next day, and then a brief, early-morning visit to the Midwest Writers Workshop before I demand to be taken home and put to bed. And then. And then.
I’m not complaining. But I also cannot give advice for how to keep from getting overwhelmed. Not really. Because I am overwhelmed.
I have one trick, and it is this: I work ahead, I put everything on my Google calendar, I pinball from place to place as my calendar tells me. I’m not in charge. The Google calendar is in charge.
The other Debs are further out from their release dates. Maybe they have better ideas. I hope SOMEONE HAS BETTER IDEAS.