Bria’s Job Description: Take One

8 Feb

      As you grow in any career, your job description is *obviously* going to change. This month, I’m talking about what that means for writers. We’ll have some guests sharing their thoughts as well.

      I’ve broken my job description into several key pieces: Writing. Editing/Revising. Learning. Promoting. Networking.

      I know, some of those look like they should be grouped together, but they aren’t…You’ll see why 🙂

      Today I’m going to talk about Writing and how it’s changed.

      Almost 3 Years Ago: You know, I should write these stories down. All the ones running thru my head. My friends would probably appreciate it too so I stop zoning out when I’m with them. Looks into writing and groups. Listens to some workshops. Reads up on the internet. Joins RWA and RD.

      2.75 years ago: Get’s out paper and starts writing. Yup, I did that after looking into writing. I’m a do-or-die kind of girl.

      Writes. Writes a lot. Writes stuff she wants. Writes things that are fun. Writes stuff that amuses her. Writes at work. Writes in the car. Writes ever what if idea that comes to mind down and thinks about writing them …. only criteria: are they fun and interesting and does she want to live there.

      2.5 years ago: edits/writes, edits/writes,  edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes

      2 years ago: Time to send it out! Organize my agent search (check out the side bar for the Agent Hunt & Getting To Yes series) and start mailing. Which brings us to more  edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes, edits/writes (Etc… this phase went one for quite a while)

      1 year ago: Write something light and fun just to get out of my fantasy world… Put it aside for 8 months and ignore it

      8 months ago: Keep working on specific revisions 2 agents asked for…eventually get turned down by both.

      6 months ago: edit Light/Fun Story and query

      5 months ago: sign with an agency and do first round of revisions on Light/Fun Story

LET’S TALK ABOUT NOW

      Things have changed. Sitting down and writing whatever I want isn’t going to work anymore. There needs to be a plan for a couple reasons.

      1. The Agent is currently working on some feed back from SBook 1.   There isn’t any sense in calling the edits on SBook 2 done before seeing what I can learn from The Agent’s comments. Actually, that would be just dumb to ignore the opportunity to learn how to make the next book better. Plus, a waste of everyone’s time.

      2. What’s next: Blurbs. Yeah, I wrote them. I’m sending them today (I’ve been kind of cowardly about this) – but what it comes down to is this –> What do I write next? It’s no longer an option of “what sounds like the most fun to play with” – now it’s “what’s the best business sense thing to write next”. Obviously, the blurbs I’m sending The Agent are all things I could work on. I’m mulling some stuff in that brain of mine, but didn’t blurb it because they aren’t ready to go.

      So, that leaves us with the new Writing Job Description:

  • Write as guided by The Agent’s input
  • Write a lot
  • Write even more
  • Keep track of ideas
  • Blurb them
  • Don’t be a chicken, send the darn blurbs
  • Scribble idea’s ideas out while waiting to discuss
  • Write more
  • Write a little more
  • and then Write some more

Not VERY different, but different enough to change the entire timeline of writing life. That’s been the real interesting thing – learning that I’m not the only one in my writing timeline any more.

Okay, I’m off to send those blurbs 🙂

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8 Responses to “Bria’s Job Description: Take One”

  1. Tami February 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    *tacks a little pink bunny next to 2.5 years ago on your timeline* That’s me!

    Great timeline. I love the sense of scale and distance between goals that it shows.

    Congratulations on finding an agent! Are you currently leaning toward more light/fun stories or are you secretly pining for a deeper/angsty storyline?

  2. December February 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    You know, everyone says as an unpubbed author, you have a little more freedom to write for funzies then a signed or pubbed.
    I agree, I can see how the pressure would be increased. But I’d like the chance to experiecnce the other side.
    I do best with deadlines, it keeps me focused and on track.

  3. briaq February 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Tami – right now the Fun & Light actually has angsty in it. My goal is to right serious topics with humor… i mean, that’s how we handle them in real life.

    December- i wish I’d had more things done when I’d gotten The Agent. It would be nice to be revising the first couple instead of writing writing writing to get stuff ready… ya know?

  4. Tami February 10, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    @Bria

    That’s interesting. Do you recommend having multiple completed manuscripts before becoming agented? *curious*

  5. briaq February 10, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    You know what Tami, I am one of the most impatient people I know… I’m very Go! Go! Go! Go! and Gooooooo!

    I *do* wish I had the second book in the series done when I got The Agent. Agents often say “don’t query us with your first book” – I’m not saying that. I’m saying, give yourself some wiggle room.

    Of course, I didn’t expect to start making the decision one month into querying. It was insane.

    I also realize that *maybe* some of the revisions to book one for the first round would have been easier with book two already done. AND I would have been applying what I’m learning from The Agent to both books.

    I don’t think it can’t hurt to have more than one book in your drawer ready to hand them….and that you can be applying what you’re learned to it as well.

  6. Tami February 10, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Interesting! I’ve been unsure on the subject of series with agents – do they want the next book done, or is it a Very Bad Thing to query with a series? Some agents seem to be anti-series for new authors.

    Since I’m writing a fantasy series, this has me unsettled, as obviously I’d like to continue the series!

    Thanks, that gives me a lot to think about. =]

  7. briaq February 10, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Now we’re off on a tangent.

    I have a fantasy series and no one wanted to take a risk on it. The two that almost did both wanted the end changed so that it was 100% stand alone. I grew up on the fantasy series where, yeah, you had to read all however-many-books…they didn’t stand alone. As a reader (and especially a writer) i hate the idea that we have to write like this now, but yes, that’s the feedback I got everywhere.

    The series I’m working on now is contemps. They’re a group of friends but each can stand alone. Of course they build of one another and are stronger together, but yup stand alone.

    So, I guess when I was talking about having more than one book in the series done, I meant more than one book period. I think this would have taken some of the self-perceived pressure off.

    But, I’m one of those people that doesn’t believe in waiting. Don’t wait on your ‘top pick agents’ to query more, don’t wait for book one to get repped/sold to start the next one, don’t wait…keep writing and editing and revising and moving to the next thing
    🙂

  8. Tami February 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Aha, a tangent indeed. True, different genres have different rules.

    I like that rule “don’t wait”.

    And thanks for the clarification with your experience on fantasy – that jives with what I’m seeing on agent sites.

    Unfortunately, I do not like reading the 100% standalone fantasy “series”. I don’t want a series that never ends, either, but I do like an epic tale told via multiple books more than anything else. The Deed of Paksennarion, Hunter’s Oath/Hunter’s Death, that kind of thing.

    Doesn’t mean I won’t write a standalone, or that I’m not striving to make my series more standalone, but it does mean that I am choosing to make this more difficult on myself. And it will probably mean that my next manuscript will not be “book2”, it’ll be something completely different. I think it’s easier to write those series once you’ve already got your foot in the door than it is to query them from obscurity.

    Regardless I’m not going to sit around and wait. Keep writing, keep querying, don’t give up. =]

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