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?