Friday, May 27, 2005


Has anyone ever noticed how important timing is in this business? I think some of the wrong turns I have made in my career have been a matter of not waiting until the time is right.

Sending off submissions before they were ready because of impatience. Taking a job I shouldn't have because I was worried about this or that and always wanted to be working. Forcing things before the time was right, before I had learned enough, thought enough, or was ready.

I have a friend who has wanted to be a freelance writer for years. She hated her job, she hated getting up early and her dream was to write for a living in the comfort of her own home. Because of a variety of reasons she never took the plunge. She did some freelancing work on the side and dreamed. When her job ended at the college she was working for, she did what she has always done and interviewed for more jobs. But this time, doors weren't opening right and left. They were shutting and slowly it dawned on her that it was time. She decided to make out a business plan and now she is a full time freelance writer and my, how the doors have opened for her in just the past few weeks! She scored a freelance job writing up marketing blurbs that pays almost as much as her old job. She has come up with more assignments than ever before, including an assignment for a major glossy magazine and, best of all, she has scored a job writing a book on sports trivia for a sports team she already knows inside and out.

The timing was obviously right.

So I am thinking about my timing. For the past six years I have worked my way to a certain measure of success in the nonfiction world. Two books, many magazines and the like. I basically learned how to write and learned about the business. I wrote a couple of fiction books, as well, dreaming about the day when I could earn a decent living writing fiction. I am getting a bit tired of writing nonfiction. Dealing with the sources, dealing with all the PR people, etc. Not that I hate it... some of it is still very exciting. I will never forget the feeling I had when I scored Writer's Digest... 3 times! Or when I realized I was earning more money than I ever had in my life. My first TV interview, first radio interview, the first time someone recognized me... good stuff. Nonfiction taught me that I have really good instincts for the buiness when I am patient. I also learned the importance of networking.

But I am ready for more. Here is what has happened in the last month that makes me feel my timing is right.
  • I got the job at Northwest Woman Magazine. Not a lot of money right now, but a world of opportunity. Especially setting me up to PR my own books.
  • I am putting together an event that will make my name known to the media here in Portland.
  • I have had so many agent responses to my query. I can understand that to a certain degree... all my nonfiction query writing has definitely honed that skill... I got some help from a friend too:) But I have had so many requests for a partial...
  • I was asked to join a very good critique group that I would be proud to be a part of.
  • My dh says he thinks we can swing going to the Reno conference
  • I got what I think is a really fab YA idea and the opportunity to publicize it, create a platform and the timing is just perfect. (If I hurry)

So, I think the timing is finally right for me to get an agent and get published in the fiction world!


Anonymous said...

Harkens back to the great quote(I don't know who said it) about luck: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. And timing plays a large role I would think. Sending you good vibes for your fiction goals :)

Kristen Painter said...

Crossing my fingers for you, chickie!

I think timing has tons to do with it but I think your attitude is also important - and yours is great!

Gena Showalter said...

Ah, timing! You know, my book Pleasure Slave was rejected everywhere. Then Stone Prince was rejected everywhere. Two years (yep, 2 years) later, Harlequin decided to do their HQN line and boom, instant success :). You are so, so right about timing.