I’ve been away all week, up in County Durham, visiting schools. It was extremely tiring but worth it if only because all the children were prepared and expecting me. I went to a school a couple of weeks ago and the teacher in charge told me that she’d not told the children I was coming so it would be a surprise!
I’d thought I would write some blog entries while I was there, but the hotel I was staying at didn’t have any kind of Internet access. Us technophiles come to assume so much these days.
Talking and basically performing all day is exhausting. When you sit quietly on your own all day, it comes as a bit of a shock to the system to talk and SMILE so much. My cheeks always ache at the end of the day and my lungs are in shock from having so much oxygen passing through them!
Being on your own makes it harder. I have this dream of having my wife drive me around to school visits in a Winebago so I would have a home from home with me.
It is strange. When I committed myself to the life of an author/illustrator, I embraced the idea of working away quietly on my own, never knowing that there would be this extra part of the job promoting and doing school and library visits. It requires totally different skills to stand up and perform. I think most writers are quiet stay-at-home types.
I’m not complaining. I really enjoy it. I keep telling myself that I should find a less physically demanding way of presenting myself. But, once I’m “on stage” and there is a bunch of expectant, shiny, little faces looking up at me, the story-teller/performer takes over. I know you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but something makes me want to!