image0 (3)Every now and then I get in a bit of a publishing panic, feverishly crafting query letters/submissions for my novels and emailing them off to prospective literary agents.

But if I do too much of that, my writing life feels all out of whack, because then I am not getting my creative play time.

I find I have to keep it balanced: do a little publishing promo, do a little poem, do a little blog posting, do a little novel writing. 

Here’s a little window into my process:

1. Thoughtfulness is Required

Finding an agent takes time and shouldn’t be rushed. I usually like to research an agent I’m interested in. Read their bio. Find them on twitter and see what they say.

Sure, I’d like to get published but I don’t want any random person. I am looking for someone who would be a good match for my book(s).

And if I get a reply from someone who says ‘I don’t think I am a good fit for your book’ then I am HAPPY to hear that because whew, that’s good to know, let’s not waste each others time.

2. Valuing my Creative Time

If I don’t get some creative time in my life, I go a little woo-woo. Just ask my husband, he’ll tell you.

I have learned not to focus so much on publishing that I lose this.

3. Keeping My Perspective

Sometimes when I query, I start to worry a lot about ‘being accepted’, ‘being liked’, ‘being good enough’, ‘being a good writer’. I start wanting to be accepted by a literary agent as a means of justifying my novel-writing existence.

Accept me, already! Publish me so I can know this effort has not all been in vain!

This is not a healthy place to be, and, truly, as a writer, not where my heart is at.

Why do I write? For the public acclaim and big bucks?


(also insert little inner voice that says: yes)

As nice as it would be to feel the acceptance of someone in the business saying ‘well done, I love it, let’s see if we can print a bunch of copies’, or to have readers who appreciate what I’m doing by writing on Goodreads ‘I laughed! I cried! Best book ever! 5 stars!’, I also know that that is the icing on the cake and not even a necessary end point.

I’d enjoy it if that happened, and it would probably help take the pressure off my inner critic, and just to be clear I am NOT SAYING NO TO ANY OF THAT but hinging most of my writerly feel-goods on it doesn’t seem like a wise move.

What do most writers do once they publish a book anyway?

Write another book!

The writing wheel keeps on turning…

Dear Writers, how do you feel about publishing? Are you able to balance your writing and publishing time?