Most author advice suggests getting out in the world and getting up in front of your book’s real-live audience. I am not going to contradict this advice because I know the benefits of public speaking, making appearances, and teaching workshops at conferences first-hand. If you are a first-time author you need to get out there, get seen, and mingle with your audience, period.
However, two years ago, after six years of regular appearances, I made the decision to stop traveling to promote my books in order to be more available to my daughter, who is now in middle school. Traveling when my daughter was younger was not a big deal. From the ages of four to ten, she was perfectly content to stay home with daddy and see what kinds of trouble they could get into while I was away on a trip. I was happy to go, they were happy to stay, and sometimes they even came with me.
Middle-schoolers are not the same as pre-schoolers or elementary schoolers and, in my opinion, my daughter needs me around more these days than she did before. After sticking closer to home for the past year and a half, I have been better able to focus on my daughter and her needs, to strike up conversations about timely topics, and to help troubleshoot challenges in school and support her personal ambitions in and outside of school.
Like most parent writers, I don’t get paid for being a conscientious parent; I get paid for making the most of my ideas in the marketplace. And, what do you know? Thanks to staying home and being less rushed and more grounded, I have actually increased my income more each of the past two years than I did when I was a touring author. So, the moral of this story is to trust your instincts about timing, and do what is best for your family, despite any pressure to do otherwise.
Christina Katz teaches writers to prosper by building solid, salable, life-long career skills that work even in a rapidly evolving publishing marketplace. She works with writers via classes, training groups, and writing challenges, using the most effective and reliable technologies available. She is the author of books and workbooks that help writers take their skills to the next level and grow their writing careers. Learn more at http://christinakatz.com.