The fun part of writing a book is when you're thinking about it, learning, meeting people, doing research.
The unpleasant part is the actual writing. Some people say they "like" writing. To me, that's crazy talk.
The awkward part is promo mode, right when the book is published, because every day you're walking the fine line between wanting to make sure you get your message out, and becoming a bore.
I enjoyed the fun part of preparation for my latest book over the past few years in China. The unpleasant part took much of last year, including the few months when my wife and I were back in Beijing. The promo part begins right now, and let me explain how I intend to handle the awkwardness that inevitably goes with it.
On the one hand, I don't want to convert my little part of the Atlantic's site into mainly a marketing / promotional vehicle. Also I know, from long experience, that just as people have a finite appetite for hearing about the achievements, cuteness, smartness, and success of other people's children, so too you can quickly wear out your welcome talking about your own book (movie, song, performance, startup idea, etc). But on the other hand, I'll be going to a lot of sites around the country in the next couple of weeks and would like to get out information on where and when, for anyone who might be interested.