My Biggest Writing Regret by Patty Blount

 So sorry this post is a day late, y'all! Life is getting the better of me. 

We're blogging about writing regrets and for me, this is easy. 


I've been writing all of my life. Hoping...wishing to someday see my name on a book spine on a store shelf one day. But to realize that dream, it meant I had to share my writings with people. And each time I did that, I heard the same tune. "This is great, but you'll never earn enough money to live." 

So, I never pursued it with any degree of seriousness until I was well into my forties. When I finally did publish, I was forty-six years old with a number of responsibilities the income from my dayjob supported. At first, balancing both jobs was possible. I published six Young Adult novels and three contemporary romances and many of these novels were written as I switched employers. 

But then, I reached the end of my contract with Sourcebooks, my YA publisher. At this same time, I also sought out a new agent. I have not published a novel since 2018 and I fear my publishing career is over. 

I often wonder, if I'd had the confidence in my storytelling ability to seek publication when I was younger, perhaps I could have made this my fulltime career. If writing novels were my only career, perhaps I could have found alternatives over what's become a five-year slump. 

Right now, the alternative is for me to dive into self-publishing. But there are risks with this plan. First, there's the cost to hire cover artists, book formatters, and editors. Second, there's the research and learning curve into publishing through Amazon or going wide (and no, I don't entirely know what that means!) Third, there's the time needed to do all these things while working fulltime and still trying to find time to actually write novels. And fourth -- and this is important -- I am no longer a fast writer who can release multiple novels in a single year and that appears to be what readers expect from their favorite self-published authors. 

So...even though SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW was my last published Young Adult novel, it was a good one. It won several awards and even now, five years later, still earns messages from teen readers. If that is to be my final act, I'm proud of it.