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April 2024: Value Your Time

Lucinda LiteraryThere is so much that I long to share with writers on a daily basis about successfully publishing a book. Mainly, these insights come out of conversations I’m having with published authors I represent or aspiring authors I’m coaching. There are so many breakthroughs we have together, and it’s extremely rewarding to experience.

So let’s check in with each other on a personal breakthrough I’ve had this month: valuing time.

As all of you know, I recently launched a book, and hey, that’s a thing, it turns out. It’s like having an infant, requiring all of your spare attention, keeping you up day and night. After my book’s publication, to my surprise, I returned quickly and easily to “all-in” agenting—my clients seized full attention and we saw a slew of book deals for first-time authors this Spring. Check out some of our recent deal announcements below!

On the heels of my own book launch, I lost my father-in-law and that has brought me a new perspective that I’m grateful for. It’s as though I’m proactively focusing on the things that really matter and spending less time in the endless wheel of reactivity. (Not 100% there. I’m human after all.)

Time is always a metric of what we value and how we value ourselves. One of my clients noted that when he coaches C Suite executives, he asks what value is most important to each individual in the room. You can guess what the majority say: family. And then he asks them to pull out their calendars, where there’s typically no time blocked for family. Candidly but with care, as is his way, he discloses the obvious: “Your family is not your priority. Your calendar is full of other obligations. I don’t see ‘family’ in here.” Time scarcity—the fear we have of time passing, the loss we feel when it does—is part of the human condition, universal to us all.

But let’s get back to you, as writers. What is the time you spend, or don’t spend, prioritizing your work and yourself? A writer I spoke with earlier this week stated a common refrain: “I have so many friends who want to write books, but none of us have the time.” Now compound this time scarcity with a fear of the unknown—especially as publishing can become an overwhelming process that leaves writers mired in confusion. It’s easy to understand why aspiring authors get stuck.

Want to know one of the greatest and (most surprising) rewards of launching my book Get Signed? That it helped so many writers get unstuck. They finished their memoir, their novel, their self-help manuscript. They understood the greater publishing model, and how their book fits into it. Ultimately, Get Signed didn’t become a book about “how to get signed.” It became a book about asking yourself: “Is making time to publish this book worth it? Am I worth it?”

If we’ve met on social media or at one of our events, I hope you have heard me give you a resounding YES.

On LinkedIn, I regularly post motivational advice for new writers. Some recent examples include: whether to tell an agent if you have self-published a book. Or the first thing you should do right now to build a platform, if you want to prove yourself as a writer.

Here’s one piece of advice I’ll share with you now: My productivity authors like Chris BaileyRon Friedman, and Dan Martell “time-block” religiously, which I’ve taken up doing, too. Every Wednesday, I prepare for book events, sort company finances, or do some visioning exercises for the agency. Best of all, I create content, which, as a writer, I’ve always loved—like creating this newsletter right here. I spend the afternoons away from my desk with my young children, so they can count on this time together every week. They know my agency is the baby that came before them, that I work constantly to nurture it, and they respect that with a maturity well beyond what I could have expected of such tiny people. But they also need to run free at the playground, play tag, craft, and have “just us” time without distraction.

It’s not perfect, but I’m trying to live by my own creed to value precious time with the work and the people I love.

Does this motivate you to devote a weekday (or more!) to your book, or to your family? I’d love to hear from you.

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