I like this proverb, it encapsulates some larger truths about the writing life. For me, at this moment, I'm looking at the issues of balance.
I'd love to tell you there is a formula we can all follow that will allow for maximized time with family and friends, ideal promotional efforts of our work, planning and crafting workshops, AND give us ample time to work on our next project. I suppose there could be such a formula, but I fear it would entail omitting sleep, food, and, perhaps, bathing. Anyway, I'm sure we are all done chasing that particular rainbow.
Once a book releases (as my non-fiction has just done) there is a fantastic opportunity to run around like a crazed chicken pecking at this task, pecking at that one, fretting over this idea, running to solve that problem, and tearing in circles self-promoting. But, as I'm learning, it's only a temptation. It doesn't have to be a reality.
The reality is that while I have a great responsibility not only in producing novels and non-fiction, but in working to promote and market the books, I also have two very important things going for me. 1) I have a team. A publisher is much more than a company who prints books. A publisher is a network of highly talented, skilled, professional people who can do things I have not even begun to think about. And they have a marketing department! They know the ins and outs of the business of promoting books. I can lean on them. They develop campaigns so deep and innovative they make my head spin with happiness. They offer advice, they help me know which steps to take and which may be a waste of time. It is very much like having a mentor/friend/champion in the industry. While it is very true that I have equal responsibility in promoting my books, I know I could never accomplish alone what can be done in cooperation with my publishers.
2) I have God. With Christ comes peace. Crazy peace that defies understanding. Whole peace. The tendrils of worry probe my whole life. I may be concerned about a primary issue (I have a book due June 1, for example), but that main concern creeps through my entire life, leaving a path of increasing anxiety. But by connecting with God on a moment to moment basis, I am given crazy Jesus peace - the kind that replaces worry with the calm knowledge that God is in control. The peace that says, first things first, Bonnie. Just do what is in front of you - do with your whole heart, do it for Me, and all these things will fall into place.
When I look down at the full plate in front of me, I am humbled and terrified at the same time. But when I look up to the giver of all good things, I am once again His child - assured of His tender care in all things.
I bid you good writing.