To: "Regina Edelman"
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 9:03 PM
Subject: Re: Enid News & Eagle, Enid, OK 7.12.1998
I would never cast you out! I will always be your supporter, but I'm afraid it will have to be from a distance. There's just no way I can communicate how much stuff I have on my plate right now. I honestly have to edit two books in the next week and send them to press. I teach a class once a week for high schoolers. I oversee 9 nonprofits in 7 cities. I oversee a publishing company with three periodicals, 100,000 words of reading each week, with 11 employees. I'm helping to build a school in southern Sudan. I have a two-year-old at home. And between all this, I sometimes get 3-4 hours a week to write. I really need that time to write. So right now the choice for me is either I remain a writer (somehow, even with 3 hours a week), or I give up writing to read/edit manuscripts that great people like yourselves send me. I wish so much I could do it all, but I can't. I just can't. The thing I've had to give up, lest I never write again, is the direct helping/reading/editing of manuscripts that come to me through the mail. It's on average 10-12 hours work minimum, which means I wouldn't be able to write for 2-3 weeks every time I agree to work on someone's book. And again, I've recently just had to admit to myself that I need to write. That I need to carve out time for my own writing. I think I give a lot of time to others, and so it's my one area that I need to protect -- the few hours a week where I can work on my own stuff.
But again, I wish you the best in all you do. I know there are 100s of other writers, editors, publishers and peers who will help you with your book. I just know you'll get all you're looking for!
One more of those hard moments—I can easily understand why one takes one’s own life like John Kennedy Toole did.
Can’t you understand? What is bravery then, to die, or to live waiting for you to kill me and bury me with laughs?
O little thing in need to go ahead!
To be continued…