Friday, July 10, 2009

What's the Rush?

I had a talk with my agent the other day, and she gave me some really good things to chew on.

Namely, what's the rush?

The rush to get published? For what? I have it on good authority, from her and from published authors I'm friends with, that this never gets better. The demands on you only increase, and your time is less.

Now is the time, my agent said, to really push the envelope in your writing. To see what you're capable of. To try different things. With all this rush to get an agent, and then a publishing contract...she said (and I really do think she's on target here) pure writing falls by the wayside in some cases.

Why not prepare yourself as well as you can beforehand?

I think this advice can be extended to almost every aspect and place we're all at in our writing. Whether you're doing a first draft, editing, looking for an agent or looking for a publisher, the way is long, and we need to stop and enjoy the route a little more. (I am lecturing myself as I type this).

So although I've got myself a goal here, I'm not going to worry about it if I don't make it by that exact day. I'll relax on my little raft on the publishing waters and just see where I go.


  1. Um, HUGE THANK YOU for this post. I get so annoyed with everybody scrambling to get published. It makes me feel on edge, like we're in some sort of race or something. I agree with the agent.

    Just push that envelope. Perfect your craft. I know I have lots of room to grow, that's for sure!

  2. Marvelous advice. Thank you for your honesty. It really helps.

  3. You may be lecturing yourself, but it's a lecture I can certainly benefit from. It's easy to forget about why I write in the push for being published. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Yeah, this was a timely post. Yeah. :-)

    Sometimes it's easy for me to think of writing like my day job. But it is more enjoyable if I slow down and enjoy the view.

  5. I just had this very conversation with author Kathryn Fox in the hallway at Thrillerfest. She has major deadlines looming, two young kids, and a husband that she wants to spend time with. She said exactly the same thing. Get comfortable with your writing, and have a backlog of material before you get published. Those old novels won't be thrown away, you will take scenes from them for your new ones.

  6. Good advice. And important advice for someone like me who is in the process of trying to break into the business. The longer I sit (I hope) the better I'll get. Like cognac, or scotch. It IS hard not to want it though...

  7. Interesting post. Too bad it's so hard to follow that advice. I think we want to get published so our friends and family will understand or accept (I'm not sure which) that this isn't just a hobby. We mean serious business here!!!

    Lynnette Labelle

  8. So true! We need to enjoy this part of the journey -- relax and take it all in. thanks for the reminder.

  9. Good advice! I've felt like that a lot in my journey. And even now, I am still working toward the next thing. Sometimes it's best to focus on what's in front of us and do the best we can with it.


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