Thursday, November 12, 2009

but for the love of twitter

Last night I went out for my first celebratory FLOW drinks. Rose, our editor, can't be at the big Rizzoli party next week and wanted to, very thoughtfully I might add, take time out to acknowledge this book making its way into the world. We (she, my co-author and I) wedged into a corner table at a lovely, cozy, elegant bar and chatted about how beautiful the book is, how exciting the press is, how it all came together far better than we ever imagined. As the alcohol started to work its magic, we touched on, as politely and genteelly as possible, how most of the experience sucked. Of course, we didn't word it quite that way. No one pointed fingers. No voices were raised. But putting this book together was a hell that one can't possibly imagine and we were the three at the very front line of battle. It was the first time we all sat and talked about what we went through. Rose, I think, had it the hardest. She'd never done such a complicated book before and was the point person for outright publishing insanity. To me, she was never anything but diplomatic and helpful, although she insisted otherwise. She kept saying how great it was that all the angst, the stress, the anger and frustration of the book was in the past.

I don't think it is. As she laughed about how we are all in such a better place, I kept thinking, no we're not. There's still plenty of resentment and anger bubbling just below the surface. There are people involved in the project who will most likely never speak to me again. And some whom I sure wish they didn't have to. But that's ok. I learned, while working on this book, how to open my mouth, regardless of whether it would piss people off or not. After living for months at a time with conceptual duct tape wrapped tight across my face, sometimes I'd explode. It was never pretty, more often than not a train wreck for everyone, the fall out for me especially brutal, but I learned to stand up for myself. To trust my instincts, to fight, hard, when I needed to. Cordial and polite don't always cut it. And it's here in the story that I can go on a self-righteous bent, letting the negativity pull me under, getting caught back up in the pain and insanity.

But, I'm fighting it today.

Which leads me to this blog's title. Promoting FLOW is now my full time job. I've spent months working on the website, creating promo films, updating on facebook, tweeting like mad. Last night I filled the others in on the connections I've made, the people I've met, the fans FLOW has, the opportunities that are now showing up because of all that time and effort. But, unless you're immersed in this online world, I don't think people get it. That strangers pre-ordered FLOW because of what I put out there. That bloggers are writing not about the actual book, but just that the book exists. That people I don't know take time out to read my blog and share their thoughts. That blows me away. You guys blow me away.

As I walked home, far woozier than usual, I pulled out my phone to check out what was going on in my world. There was an email from Rick Stacy, a morning DJ in Houston, who'd read about FLOW online, and was asking me to be a guest on his show this morning (it went really well!). Posts on twitter from people who'd just gotten their copies of FLOW and couldn't wait to start reading. The photo at the top of this post is from @cara19 who took the time to shoot her copy's journey from Target, through dinner, to her couch. I LOVE THAT.

Sometimes I feel like my online life is more real than my real one. Or at least more interesting. Let's see:

Online: radio hook-ups, blog shout-outs, affirmations and support from people who love what I'm doing
Real life: sitting in a freezing car on a rainy morning for alternate side parking, next up: searching for a missing dustbuster, cleaning sticky hot chocolate residue off the kitchen floor because I'm sure no one else thought to, and tackling a desk piled high with endless papers that need sorting

Call me escapist, but cyberspace wins.

Day 38 is outrageously appreciative of the very cool people I've "met"


Amy Oscar said...

Oh, elissa. Bravo for somehow always framing your experience in a way that resonates AND teaches. CAn't wait to see the book. I've been holding myself back... planning to pick up my copy at Rizzoli. Can't wait to meet you. (More evidence of the power of social media... I'd never have know about you, or the book, without it.)

Jeremy said...

Takeaway phrase for today: "conceptual duct tape".

I'm very glad to have "re-met" you more than 25 years since our paths crossed previously. The paths that life leads us on are interesting indeed, and social media has certainly made some unexpected connections and reconnections along the way.

Vizionheiry said...

I like how you tie-in your online world with your real life world. I don't think one is real and the other is fake. One is tangible in a way that the other is not tangible. I

I haven't purchased your book yet, but I will. It's something that I needed when doing spring forward into vagina workshops in my college days.

Your promotion is relentless yet it's earning you readers and opportunities that your agent (do you have 1?) is not. So we in this cyberspace, see you and salute you for your efforts to promote!

Just take it one success story and affirmation at a time.