Friday, May 18, 2012


Ah, the end of another week. Sometimes I feel like I'm wishing my life away. I look forward to Fridays because I see a big block of time ahead – a block of time I can write.

If I weren't working the paying job, I probably wouldn't look forward to Fridays so much. I'd probably look forward to Mondays instead. But what I'm really looking forward to is the day I earn a living from my writing.

Am I an idiot for not going the self-publishing route? Could I be making that living now instead of dreaming about it? Yes, I know I can make more money per book if I self-publish, but will I sell books?

But the more pressing question is – when do I know my books are ready to go out there? How many people should I get to read them first?

I hate to give up the dream of having an agent helping me along in my career (and a validation of sorts). But from some of the blogs I've been reading lately, I'm beginning to wonder whose side an agent is really on. And, let's face it, they're really picky!

Working for a 401k no longer interests me, not if I can make a living at writing. But I want to go about it right. I just wish I knew what right is.

Eventually I'll get it figured out, but in the meantime, I'll continue to write. Because that's what I do.

Have a good weekend!


Maria Zannini said...

Ref: Working for a 401k no longer interests me,

LOL. You may regret saying that when you're 55+.

When hubby and I reached our 40s that's all we focused on. We wanted desperately to retire.

Writing for most of us will only ever be a side job or hobby.

As for when you know you're ready...

• you'll start winning writing contests

• your work will get offers from smaller publishers

• you'll get offer of representation from agents. (I received two.)

• you just know. That one I can't explain, but you just know when you reached that level. You stop worrying about 'how' to fix a problem chapter and just go back in and fix it.

Anne Gallagher said...

There's so much I want to say on this subject, I think I'll just send you an email.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Maria - I'll be 55 in July. I'm ready to retire NOW! I have a 401k, my husband has a 401k, he also has a retirement check for his 20 years in the Army, and he will probably get a teacher's retirement check (if he ever stops teaching). I think we're set. But my husband wants the house paid off first, and I understand that (and it's the only reason I haven't quit). It's hard waiting, though.

Anne - I look forward to seeing what you have to say!!

The Happy Whisk said...

You'll know you're ready, like you know about a good melon.

LD Masterson said...

Stacy - You didn't mention the other big self publishing question, how confident are you on your ability to market your book? If you go the self-publishing route that all falls on you.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Ivy - I can't always tell a ripe melon from an unripe one. At least, not until I cut it open.

Linda - I think a writer is stuck with marketing no matter how they get published. Not something I'm looking forward to, regardless of how I'm published (see - being positive here!).

Jeanne said...

I struggle with the same question but, like you, I know I'm not there yet.

I think if I ever write a book that I find satisfying (not that I'm satisfied with, because I know that will never happen), but that I'm satisfied has compelling characters, an interesting and complex plot and a satisfying resolution, and I still can't get published, then I'll go the ePub route.

I just came back from a workshop out in Washington state, where I learned a ton about plotting. Mary Buckham, the woman who ran the workshop, says the average time from starting to write seriously to publication is now 14 years.

4 more to go.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jeanne - 14 years!!! Damn, that's just depressing. I think I want to work on making that average SHORTER!