Lately I've been spending a lot of time NOT writing. Still, what I've been doing would be considered writers' tasks.

As any writer today can tell you, a writer not only writes. I writer must publicize. A writer must attend public events..

A writer is salesperson, a business mamager, a publicist, an inventory-controller, an order processer, a set-designer. A writer must be an editor, a reviewer, and then a marketer.

Worse, if I can believe my own eyes and ears, a writer does not necessarily have to write. If you're famous enough, if your name gets recognized for anything (even for being an ass), getting the book done simply is a formality. There's a real writer around to do the boring work, and you barely have to give them any credit.

Anyway, I've been spending a lot of time with all this "avoidance writing," all the stuff that keeps you from writing, and (to put it cynically) helps you avoid that painful process but still makes you look like a writer. I've done my summer-races and shows selling my "RED RACECAR" middle-grade novels. I've queried new agents on behalf of my novel "HENRY HITS THE BALL." What I haven't done is continue writing AIDEN'S JOURNAL, my latest, a record of the rehabilitation of a young brain-injury victim.

I also started editing some of my favorites from the decades of columns and articles I wrote about motor racing, to offer to all those folks who visit my booth at races and shows and compliment the work I did covering the sport. I might as well market them as a book.

After all, I already did the writing.

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