Living in Limbo

- by Delilah Devlin

I’m currently between contracts. That’s a less depressing way of saying I haven’t yet sold my next book. And since I’m a full-time writer, that’s worrisome—but I’m not panicking over it.

You see, I don’t store all my eggs in one basket.

I plan for these times as best I can. I’m currently ramping up my ebook production to bring in more income, researching to prepare new proposals, and taking time to shoot at the short story market. I like to stay busy and positive.

When I went full-time, I learned I could live on a lot less income. I don’t have to spend money on gas to get to my job, don’t have to buy business suits or even business casual clothing, and I don’t spend a lot of money eating out.

Whenever I find myself in Limboland, I keep focused by planning my writing time, revisiting my goals, and looking at the bigger picture. When I’m racing toward a hard deadline, I’m that hamster on the treadmill—so it’s nice to have time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished so far and where I’d like to go from here.

I’m also reaching out to other authors, aspiring and published, to build some good karma and to keep my skills honed and maybe learn something new. I’ve started a critique group through the Rose’s Colored Glasses website and am leading a group dedicated to plowing through Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.

I’d love to hear from other authors how they get through these stressful times.

10 comments

  1. Great blog Deliliah. I have one release coming out next friday after that I don’t know when the next one will be.
    I havent been able to write like I was for awhile because of an injury in Feb. I go to therapy twice a week and that takes all mrning up. For a good 8 weeks I couldn’t write more then 2 sentences. Now I’m slowly getting back to writing more but nothing like I did before.
    Jodi

  2. I’m in limbo too. I shudder to think what would happen if I didn’t have to keep an eye on my family and get out for groceries once in a while. Would I grow moss? Mold? Disappear under a super-giant dust bunny?

    Probably the latter. I tend to get very near-sighted where dust is concerned. Conveniently, ya know.

  3. Like you, I’ve been going over my career plan–or lack thereof lately. Never too late to start I suppose. ;) I think the key is just to keep writing. I have partials making the rounds now and I’m currently writing a book in a new genre. That’s the only thing we can control in this wacky business.

  4. Jodi! I feel for you. When you don’t feel well it’s almost impossible to be creative. Dreams dry up. I hope you can adjust to working in tiny time increments. I’ve had to do that before—using as little as 15 minutes at a whack to knock out an idea. You could also use short increments for quick brainstorming tasks—like dreaming up that new series concept!

  5. Masha! Don’t let housework become your next “project”! Dust will always be there. :)

  6. Jordan! I decided to target specific editors. And then I went to work on putting together one, two then a third (for backup) proposal for that same editor. I’ following that strategy for two different houses. Now that I have to wait for results, I’m toying with a non-fic and a children’s story—just to keep things exciting for me.

  7. I really enjoyed your blog. Being retired, I have a steady (though not princely) income, so it’s easy to lose my focus on writing as a “career”—which is should become–my second career! I have two book contracts and have picked up payment for a few other stories/articles, but you’ve reminded me that I don’t need to just sit back and wait for the opportunities to come to me. I need to make those opportunities for myself. So thanks for the “swift kick”—and happy, successful writing to you!

  8. Good luck Delilah — sharing your story will help others — may good karma bring great success your way!

  9. Judy and Nancy! Thanks so much!!

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