Friday, February 13, 2009

FINDING BALANCE AND WINNING: Thoughts for Valentines' Day

Yesterday we finished reading a large stack of chapters and wrote many "no thank you" and a few "please send more" letters to some very impressive authors. Today I'm working on a backlog of emailed queries. What I should be doing, I keep muttering to myself, is calling editors and selling books. It's a matter of balance.

Agents, like authors, are pulled in so many directions, it's hard sometimes to know which fire to put out first. I heard a speaker once address this dilemma by using the term, "What's Important Now?" WIN. Corny, but it often works for me.

What's Important Now? For me? First, writing this post--the blog needs attention. Next, my brimming inbox dictates attention to the queries. Yesterday it was chapters. The day before that I worked on contacting editors about current projects.

Often, these plans get changed when the phone rings, the email dings, and an important opportunity or crisis surfaces. But using the WIN method, I can usually get on track again.

Try it. Do you need to polish a chapter or make your query sing? Or, more important, does your daughter need some time with you? Ask yourself, "What's important now?"

Maybe the chapter can wait until tomorrow and your query can be fixed tonight. Right now, your daughter or husband or wife or mom or best friend may need you. It's Valentines' season. Lighten up on yourself. Eat some chocolate, give some hugs and enjoy. Your writing will be all the better for it!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Carol Green said...

Thanks for this. I think I need to start implementing the WIN method more in my life. No one needs me now; my kids and hubby are all asleep. But...I should be working on a manuscript and I'm not. My WIN is telling me to get off the internet and get to work. *Grins*

Anonymous said...

What IS important now? Family, for certain. Exercise, paying bills, working a "real" job until the writing pays off. I don't think WIN is corny at all. I think if more people thought like that, we'd all be a lot better off. Television (except maybe Battlestar Galactica) is NOT important, though I suppose it can have some meaning. Once in a blue moon. Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. I look forward to more.