Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Fire

No, I'm not talking about Katniss, the Girl on Fire (though I do already have a cool Mockingjay t-shirt that I can't wait to wear while I'm reading the book, which I've pre-ordered). I'm talking about something a member of my writers' group said after I reported to them on everything I've been up to since landing my new agent, Jill Corcoran. My friend told me I was on fire with writing, now that I didn't have to think about the business aspect of the work.

I think she's right. Ever since I started writing, lo these many years ago, I've worked at submitting all my manuscripts on my own and dealing with the business end of the craft by negotiating my own contracts. But this business aspect has sapped more and more of my creative energy as publishers have made the business of being a writer increasingly difficult. Now that I've found an agent who believes in me and has shouldered that burden with gusto, I feel free to focus on the writing aspect. That doesn't mean I'm ignoring the concept of marketing entirely and writing in a vacuum, because if you're not cognizant of market demand you're not doing your creativity any favors! But I can concentrate on what I want to write, with the idea of how it fits into market requirements as a background to the work, not as the next phase of responsibility I have to take on myself.

So I've worked on planning out three chapter books in a series and started a new YA novel, Fire at Will, and I feel as if I'm fizzing with creative energy and excitement. In short, I feel as enthusiastic as I used to feel when I started writing. I know I'll still have revision work with editors as Permanent Record and other books are sold, and I'm looking forward to it, as I used to look forward to every phase of this craft, but being able to focus on only the creative side of the business is incredibly liberating. My friend was right - I'm on fire with the thrill of writing all over again, thanks to partnering with my agent!


  1. Great news. People are creative in different ways, and it's nice to find someone who has a passion for their work when it complements your own. The synergy of good writers, agents, and editors benefits everyone.

  2. P.S. Who is Will, and why are your firing at him?

  3. Hugs on the situation with your mother, Kate. And thanks for your pleasure at my agent success. Everyone thinks that writers create all alone, in a vacuum, but it truly is a process that requires synergy - the synergy of working with a great critique group, the synergy of working with a great agent, and the synergy of working with a great editor.

    Hint: think of older military firing lines, and a meaning of "will" other than a person....