Hybrid Authors: What Comes First?

What’s on my plate right now:

  • My day job
  • My self-publishing adventures
  • My attempts to get traditionally published

You will note that the first item on that list is pretty non-negotiable. The nice people at my day job pay me in exchange for my presence, focus and (debatable) talents for a set number of hours and that isn’t up for discussion. I’m there when they need me. This keeps the bills paid and ensures that I can only drink Prosecco during socially acceptable hours (if I didn’t have a day job, there is the risk that lunch time would get a lot more fun and ultimately lead me down the road to ruin).

So when my free time rolls around, when Mr. Temple is happily occupied doing Mr.-Temple-y stuff, when none of my best ladies have dating catastrophes to share with me and when nothing on my Kindle is calling to me (rare), which of the other two priorities should I place first?

At the moment, I’m choosing self-publishing.

  • I have more control over the process
  • The rewards are more immediate
  • I am hoping that releasing an actual proper book will help to silence the nasty voices in my head that tell me I’m shite – they are especially loud when I’m writing something I hope to query to traditional publishers
  • I’m already behind schedule with the release of Lights Out and am determined to make my release date.

But it’s still a choice, every day, about where my time goes. There is also the possibility of seeking to improve my daytime career, which I’ve consciously put on the back-burner in favour of writing for the time being, but every day that passes I grow more aware of what I may be sacrificing – it still feels like the right choice, but again, it is a choice, every day.

I wonder how other writers handle the daily realities of balancing priorities – what are your non-negotiables? How do you decide what to prioritise?

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