We are only 13 days into 2015 and emails are pouring in asking me for things and the pace seems to be picking up. (Well over a dozen; three just this morning.) This is a post I can link to to save myself many emails in which I regretfully say no.
So, plainly: Right now, no. No, I will not read your book with a view to blurbing it or introducing it or appearing with you when you come through town on your book tour. I will not join your organisation, judge your competition, or blog about your cause, no matter how worthy. I will not signal boost your initiative or organisation, despite it's urgency or importance. I cannot come to your school or book club or library. I am sorry for it.
I recognise that there are many people out there I could help, that I would like to help, especially those who are climbing uphill—women, people of colour, quiltbag folk, people with MS. It turns out that readers in many different rooms might recognise my name and that has some value. So I am lucky, I understand that. But still, no.
I have helped. I do help. I will help again. But right now I'm taking a break.
I am focused on Hild II. I will allow nothing to get in my way. Over the last year I've spent so long talking about my work that I'm a bit out of practise at doing it. Even something that seems simple—responding to a request by email—pulls me out of the seventh-century long enough that it takes hours to get back. So, no, right now I will not help.
How long will this state of affairs last? I don't know. A few months.
But as I've said, I am not averse to helping, generally-speaking, so here are my criteria for travel requests and book blurbs. I'll put together something addressing other requests another time. Right now the seventh-century beckons...