What does it mean to have a "writing career"?

Six years into my journey as a "published YA author," I have accomplished the following:

  • Published a "quiet" debut novel, AUDITION, 2011.
  • Worked myself to the bone blog-touring, live-touring and otherwise promoting AUDITION.
  • Paid my own way to several book events in support of AUDITION.
  • Wrote another novel that was passed on by my editor so it is currently filed away.
  • Contributed a short story to the DEAR TEEN ME anthology edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson, and a short entry to THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca.
  • Published a more successful (Junior Library Guild selection; made a few award short-lists; PW star, strong reviews) sophomore title, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, in 2014.
  • Did next to nothing (not even a launch party) to promote THE SOUND OF LETTING GO but the reviews have driven slightly better sales.
  • Found out my first novel was being remaindered.
  • Wrote a fourth novel that was passed on by my editor but I didn't want to file it away--I thought there was something to it--so I wrestled, moaned, moped, tore apart and rewrote it. After a few rejections, realized it needed revision, so that's in progress and I'm writing another story as well.
  • Attend (and enjoy) SCBWI meetings and events.
  • Collaborate with my local librarian on an on-going monthly writing program in my community which continues to be well-attended.
  • Swapped participation in a formal critique group for monthly meetings with several writer-friends for support and feedback.
  • Mentor at the online First Five Pages writing workshop.
  • Work harder to reach out to other writers (at all stages) I like and admire--for coffee, write-ins, general commiseration.
  • Beta-read for a number of fellow-authors; read a lot of YA and fiction more broadly.
  • Continue my successful freelance writing and consulting business for which I read about 400-800 pages of other peoples' writing per month.
  • Have made some amazing writer friends, several online, and quite a few whom I have ACTUALLY VISITED (in the flesh) in California, Utah, New York, & Massachusetts.
  • Attended a writing class at a local college; currently attend a (fantastic) writing class at Hugo House in Seattle.
So here I am in February, 2017. I feel like the more I study the craft of writing, the harder it gets to write my next book. I'm not sure whether I have lost confidence or self-discipline or the belief that publishing is sufficiently meaningful to merit the angst, but there you have it.  I find myself struggling with the question: Do I have a writing CAREER? What exactly does that/should that mean? And, where do I go from here?

Book Commentary Policy: From time to time on this blog, I will comment on titles for which I have written marketing materials, or by authors I know personally. The opinions are entirely my own and I am not being compensated in any way for noting these titles. They are simply relevant to the topic I am discussing or worthy on their own merits.

Privacy Policy: Should you choose to enter a giveaway or contest via this website the information will be used solely for the purposes of drawing and contacting winners. Information collected at this site is never sold to third parties.

Popular posts from this blog



Mid-Career Mondays: Taking Joy in the Journey with KIMBERLY GRIFFITHS LITTLE