Friday, July 15, 2011

Shifting Priorities as a New Author

Posted by: Tia Nevitt
Wow; once upon a time, I would have had this post up at 6:00 AM. I would have scheduled it two days ago. Now, it's almost 8, and I'm writing it now, hoping people will at least get a chance to see it over the weekend. Why am I such a deadbeat blogger? Because my priorities have shifted.

A year and a half ago, I was an avid blogger. I ran a review blog called Debuts & Reviews, where I aspired to be THE source of new debut novels. Five months after my first publication, The Sevenfold Spell, I realized I couldn't run Debuts & Reviews anymore. And with great reluctance--I loved doing it--I converted D&R to a personal blog. Happily, I didn't take a huge hit in apparent follower numbers. But the number of posts at my blog are now very sporadic. I used to blog daily. Now I wonder where I found the time.

Actually, that's obvious. The time I once spent blogging, I now spend writing fiction.

My priority now has to be my fiction readers. I'm working very hard on my next story, and every evening, the hour or so I have for writing flies by, leaving little time for anything other than some minimal (very minimal) social networking.

Another thing that's changed is my agent search. It ended the day I got the call from Angela. Don't get me wrong; I'd love to find an agent. But I don't have anything novel-length to query right now (that hasn't already been seen by dozens of agents) and I'm focused on working on new stuff rather than fixing up the old.

Also, I no longer set aside works as easily as I once did. I'm writing through writer's block now--or at least I'm trying. Why? Because I need to finish another story. But it still has to be a good story. And as I write, I keep asking myself, will readers of The Sevenfold Spell be disappointed by this story? It's daunting. I do think that if you liked Talia, you will probably like Gretchen, the main character in my next retelling. But it's hard to be sure.  I will only know when I finish it and see what my publisher thinks. And even if they like it, I won't be certain until it has faced the ultimate test ... the readers.

I hoped and worked toward the goal of getting published for many years. But in many ways, I wasn't prepared when it happened. I love it, but wow. It sure is a different mindset.

Have you ever worked toward a goal, only to find that everything changed once you reached it?

Tia Nevitt


  1. I get what you mean about new priorities once your goal to be published has been met. I also get the angst. I wonder if it's as common as I think it is. My new goal is to write faster. To do that, I have to get better at plotting out my story before I start the manuscript. Another thing I've done is to clear my time slate. I've gotten off all committees at work, and once my treasury term is done with my local RWA chapter, that's done, too. I don't look for agents anymore. With the indie surge, and the more accessible e-publishers, I don't see what they can do for me that I can't do for myself. Besides, I've been so thoroughly put down by most of them, that I just don't see putting myself out there again any time soon. Do what you gotta do, Tia.

  2. Barbara: My goal is to write faster too. So I also have to get better at plotting before I start. It's a tough ask for someone who's always flown happily into the mist.

    Tia: Totally agree with everything you said about writing vs blogging. I'm sure my current WIP has taken longer to finish because of all the words I'm using up on social media. Looking forward to reading Gretchen's story. :-)

  3. Thanks, both of you! I need to write faster too, and I set a goal for myself for 1000 words a night, which is about an hour of writing. It's been difficult to meet this week, but I hope to have better luck next week. And I'm hoping tomorrow is my usual 5000 word Sunday!

  4. Goals do change. I'm trying to write faster too but it isn't always easy.

  5. I also agree with everything you said, and wow, can I relate, Tia. Not sure I could have articulated my feelings this well though. Nice job.


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