When asked what Georgia's incoming poet laureate should keep in mind, Billy Collins said:
"The best thing you can do it writer really, really good poetry. You can be an advocate, but the best you can do to spread the word of poetry is to write really good poetry. the other thing is, [poet] Robert Hass called me up when I became poet laureate and he said, 'They're going to be pulling you, interviewing you to death, dragging you from one place to another. Just don't leave the place where you write your poetry. Don't give up that psychological spot here the poetry comes from because they will try to drag you out of there and make you a public figure.' Being a poet is a very private activity and you have to hold onto your solitude."
What a great way to balance writing, with speaking about and promoting what you've written. You need to be out there reading from your work, and speaking. Publishers expect it--even require it.
But I love this reminder: your best work is writing, and the most important thing you can do is to hold onto your solitude where your writing came from in the first place.