You want to know the biggest difference between writing before an agent and writing after?


Lately, I’ve been feeling like this is the thing that must separate the career-writers from the hobby-writers. For career-writers, writing is work, and you make time to get a lot of it done at the expense of other things, like a clean house or hanging out with friends. That doesn’t mean that career writers are more awesome than hobby writers, just that they dedicate more time.

I’m working toward my second and third-ever deadlines right now, and holy cow, deadlines are a lesson in time-management. Probably because I’ve always been so awful at it.

Anyway, living in Utah, I’ve been lucky enough to attend multiple conferences where I’ve heard Shannon Hale speak. At my first conference, Writing for Charity in March 2012, she scared the crap out of me by talking about how she literally had time for nothing but writing and family and church stuff. I was like, “HA! I’m not going to miss lunches out with friends for writing! I’ll have plenty of time!”

Fast forward three years. Just so you know, aspiring novelists, Shannon Hale is kind of right. I’m still not as hardcore as she is, but if you want to write as a living, you have to write a lot. Things will be sacrificed.

Now, keep in mind that I am an awful procrastinator, but leading up to my first-ever deadline in December, I was a basket case. My house was a wreck. For an entire month, I did nothing but be mom and write. On the weekend when my husband was home, I sort of ditched the whole ‘mom’ thing, too. Which sucked. Even fun things become not-fun when you do them for 12-15 hours per day. So, if you want to be a professional writer, don’t be like me. Manage your time wisely. Because it does take time.

Speaking of which, I have to get back to work. Good luck, friends!

And just so you guys know, my email address is somewhere around this blog. If you’re a new writer with questions, feel free to email me about the whole awesome fiction publishing process. I may not have all the answers, but I usually know where to find them.

Here’s your dragon of the day! This one is called “Merlin” by Giacobino. Check out the artist’s deviantart gallery! I love this picture because it portrays the battle of the red and white dragons from the legend of Y Ddraig Goch, the Welsh legend I used as inspiration for the backstory of Dragonsworn.

Merlin by Giacobino

Merlin by Giacobino

About Caitlyn McFarland

Mom of three girls, writer of fantasy novels.
This entry was posted in Just Life, Path to Publication, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Deadlines

  1. Caroline says:

    Yay! So proud of you for getting stuff done. I’m getting terribly excited to see the final product of all your hard work.

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