Writing, Reading, All Things YA

Sh*t’s About to get Real – The Past, Present, and Future


Photo Cred:
~ An accurate portrayal of my current state of mind~

Warning: I am going to be talking about my feelings again…


Too bad, this is my blog!


Up until recently, I have just been a person who writes. I had goals, and small plans, but I have never really thought about what life would be like as an ‘actual writer’.

Translation: I really didn’t understand everything a writer has to do to be a writer.

I called myself a writer though. For a few years now I would say, “I’m a writer,” and my loving family and friends would be very gracious and kind about my ‘new dream’ but underneath I could see the skepticism; I could see the eye roll.

Now before we get all judge-y it is paramount to note that I am fickle and no one knows this better than those who love me.

I am 27 years old and have changed my career 6 times literally and about 100 times figuratively. My scattered brain doesn’t focus and I have the attention span of a goldfish…

But with writing… With writing it is different. I had never felt that much love for something I considered a hobby. I had never been able to achieve that level of focus before.

It has been 3 years since I started writing seriously. I have been working on my craft, learning how to not lose my mind while editing and dabbling in social media.

Things were going along nicely until I did something stupid… I submitted a story to a publication… And it was accepted.

I’ve been thrown into yet another realm of the writing universe where I am dealing with revisions, thinking about agents, researching publishers, looking at a serious pro’s and con’s list on Traditional vs. Indie vs. Self publication, and now being hyper-aware of my brand and what it being put out to the world.

I feel like a Golden Retriever who just had four tennis balls thrown in different directions and I don’t know which one to go for… By the way, it is very comical to actually do that to a Golden Retriever, even if it is slightly cruel.

Logically I know that I must balance all these aspects of the writing life, I’m a pretty smart cookie. In practice, however, I am all over the place. I do not know what a healthy balance is and I struggle with the transition from hobby to career.

When I write, I am in it headfirst and with all my soul… When I started editing my novel, I didn’t write a single new word for over a year… Now I’ve started the social media thing and I write more for my blog than my new novel and I spend more time on twitter than any normal person should… In the fall I will be returning to my first novel to continue editing it but need to finish the novel I am working on also.

I need a game plan…

That is my task and next week I will have said game plan.

If you have any suggestions for how I can better use social media, split my time between writing and editing, or general tidbits of advice I’d love to hear it.

Let’s have a conversation.

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6 thoughts on “Sh*t’s About to get Real – The Past, Present, and Future

  1. I wish I had the magic solution. It seems to be a common problem for all writers. Add in a full-time job and family responsibilities, and you realize quickly how important time-management really is. It requires a lot of discipline to shutdown TweetDeck (not just minimize it!) and get to work. After all, social media is fun, or else why would any of us be doing it?

    What motivates me is the simple truth I keep coming across on forums, blogs, and even social media: the best way to gain an audience is to keep writing! All the efforts I make to gain an audience would be better spent if I just walk away and get to work on my next book. (And for the record, they say that the magic really happens when you get your third book published; let’s hope “they’re” right since I’m publishing my third novel next week. I’ll keep you posted…)

    Reminding myself of that truth helps me to achieve proper balance. I want to write full-time; that is my goal. Social media may seem like the quick path, and it might be for some. But the one sure path is to keep writing. For me, there are two ways to reach my goal: one is hit-or-miss, the other is guaranteed (sorta). So when I find myself distracted, I just ask myself: “Will this help me reach my goal?” If I’m honest with myself, I already know the answer. Then I get back to novel number four.

  2. Maybe it would help to block out your time? Say you have 5 hours free today. Spend half social networking, half writing. Not the most elaborate plan, but it might work!

  3. Where I live, there’s a writer’s group that functions largely as a support system for people who have books. They answer questions like, “If I self publish, what’s the most economical number of first prints I should order to be most effective?” They have answers for the more traditional questions too, but I really like the group even if they only meet once a month.
    I would advice two things: find a writer that can mentor you on the other side of writing (marketing, media, and all the rest) and I would look into writer’s conferences. Writer’s conferences don’t just help people BREAK IN, they also help you stay in and stay relevant.

  4. I agree with Keith! Having writing friends is a must! They know exactly what you’re going through and can provide support and solutions. That said, I’d love to be your writing buddy if you ever need one :)

    I’m also a big fan of to do lists. I make one first thing in the morning, keeping it realistic. I stop work at 5:30 pm. so I can rest, exercise, and spend time with family. You need to recharge and take a day off once a week. Come back with fresh eyes and new motivation.

    I also don’t spend too much time on social media. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Having an awesome story is the mosti important ingredient to success, and you seem to be doing that pretty well! I would say for every hour or two you spend on writing tasks, you can spend half an hour on social media. Making connections, retweeting, posting comments, writing blog posts.

    Just take it one day at a time. You’ll be fine! And congrats on the acceptance! You know you can always go both ways as far as publishing. Do some traditional to build up your rep and do some indie to make a real living off of your writing. Nothing wrong with that!

  5. Hey, I also think Keith has some fantabulous ideas, Allie! Actually all the comments were great.. I’ve actually noticed you haven’t been on Twitter as much lately, so you must be doing the divide subconsciously! We just need to feel like we’re doing more (novel) writing than all the other stuff. Everything has it’s place. Don’t beat yourself up, dear. I am so guilty of going days with out writing my fiction, we’re only human… I am always here if you need me.

  6. Thank you all for the support and encouraging words! You all have some great ideas and I’m so happy you took the time to read my babbly nonsense and share your thoughts!

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