A New Direction

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 01 2010

It’s not uncommon to start a new year with a new outlook on things, and for me 2010 is a big year full of a lot of changes. I’m going into this year with a renewed sense of excitement for what’s to come and reminded how much I really love my job. As you know already, 2010 brings lots of change to BookEnds and I’m excited for the new challenges that will come.

With any changes come new responsibilities, and that often means a need to refocus what one is doing. While I still enjoy the blog, I’m not sure it’s as much fun for me as it used to be. It’s always been something I’ve done in my spare time, late at night, early in the morning, or on weekends, and I’ve been known to write posts days and weeks in advance in anticipation of those days when I don’t have the time, energy, or ideas for another post. Lately, though, I wonder what spare time really is. I just don’t seem to have it. So while I’m not giving up the blog yet, at least I’m not quite ready to go there, I might not be posting as frequently as I used to. You might see more three-day weekends, extended vacations, or just fun tidbits of information rather than full-blown posts.

So on those days when I’m busy tending to clients and negotiating deals, days when I don’t have the time to log on and post, please feel free to browse older posts, and definitely keep the questions coming.

And, of course, thanks for understanding.


42 responses to “A New Direction”

  1. This makes perfect sense, Jessica. Especially for an agent, blogging is more of a public service and outlet rather than a promotional tool, as it is for writers.

    I'm rethinking my Cozy Murder Mysteries blog, too, wondering if I should be pouring more of that time into my writing. It's a question worth asking one's self occasionally.

  2. Avatar Kimber An says:

    A girl's gotta have priorities or nothing gets done!

    It's been a great ride so far, but, believe me, I, for one, will totally understand.

    You've already provided us with a wealth of balanced and respectful information on this business and I really appreciate it.

  3. Avatar Tena Russ says:

    Your need to scale back is understandable. Just please don't leave us for good.

  4. Avatar Katrina says:

    Your blog has been so helpful to so many people, but you have to take care of yourself, too. Since you'll be posting less frequently, I'll be even more interested when I see you've posted something.

  5. Avatar Falen says:

    you do what you need to do. We'll still be your loyal followers

  6. Avatar Joyce says:

    I'm amazed that you've been able to keep it up as long as you have! I contribute to the Working Stiffs blog and it's hard to not only come up with ideas, but to keep them fresh. Your blog manages to do both!

  7. You need a life too and we all quite understand the pressures and demands of your work. Thanks for all the magnificent posts. I'll look forward to whatever you have to say.

  8. Completely understand. It's all about priorities. Good luck.

  9. Avatar Anonymous says:

    You're one of the few industry bloggers that post every day, anyway. Most just do it when it strikes them, and lots of them take weeks off at a time. I've wondered on more than one occasion how you've managed to do it and keep up with the rest of your day.

    Do whatever is right for you. No one that's ever read your blog is going to question your commitment to writers, you've already done so much. 🙂

  10. Avatar Xuxana says:

    Blogs are just for blagging anyway, aren't they? Well, mine is. I just blog to vent, but I guess some people use blogs for business?

  11. A step back is understandable. I'll take whatever I can get from you. 🙂

  12. You're set up in my Google Reader, so whenever you have time to post, I'll be here with you. Life is too short to worry about blogging! Drop in when it's fun, not a chore.

  13. I'm glad you're not giving up the blog, but also glad to hear you're busy with clients and job duties: that's got to be good news these days.

    So good luck, and I'll look forward to the posts when spare time comes your way again!

  14. Avatar Anonymous says:

    You've become a daily read. I firmly understand your thoughts and thank you for all the wonderful posts. You've been more help than I can express. I will continue reading whenever you write and thank you so very much for one of the finest blogs out there. You're wonderful.

  15. Avatar Amy says:

    Oh, please don't quit altogether! Once a week from you, if you can squeeze that in, would help immensely! You are one of my top blogs to check on, and I don't even write for adults!

    Thanks for trying to stick with us, even though you have so many other responsibilities calling.

  16. Avatar Connie says:

    I think we all understand. Though I admit I'll be disappointed–your blog is part of my morning routine. Thanks for all the help.

  17. Darn, and I just started "following" rather than seeking you out! Understood (I have a blog too), but your existing posts are a huge resource that I check regularly and repeatedly. Thanks for what you do.

  18. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Good for you, Jessica! It's hard to say no to a habit–like reading & responding to your blog. Thanks for being so open to comments and differing opinions all these years/months. You are one of the few agents who allow Anon comments, even when they're not so nice. Best wishes and good luck finding more time!

  19. Avatar Anonymous says:

    your post sort of aligns with what I see happening elsewhere: blog & internet fatigue.

    also, maybe having answered so many agent/writer related questions, the blog will morph into something else?

  20. Avatar Steph Damore says:

    Yeah, I've pulled away from the blogosphere a bit to focus on my writing more. It's all about priorities and making the most of my time. So far, it's worked out well for me, and I'm sure it will for you too.

  21. Your blog has been an incredible resource, and I cannot thank you enough, as an aspiring writer. I am 109 pages into my first manuscript and I hungrily absorb all the information that you provide. I wish you the best, of course, but in the short time that I've begun reading your blog (a little over a month) I have gained so much respect for you, your business, and what I, as an author need to do to succeed, and I thank you for that. Give your life all you can, but like many others here, I do hope you'll continue to check in with us occasionally.. I don't have a blog myself, but understand the difficulties it can present. It's an inspiration to keep going in a world where there are so many resources. In this day and age, I am thankful to be a writer, with the resources available, which includes your blog. If it's worth anything, you are one of the agents I plan to query when I get my manuscript done and polished (it'll be a while still, sadly). Sorry for the endless ramblings, but I wanted you to understand the impact you've had on me as a writer. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  22. Avatar Jen says:

    keeping your priorities straight is key, so we understand and we will be here when you visit!!!

  23. Avatar Mira says:

    I can completely understand – especially since you are taking over the partnership – your time is limited.

    That said, I'll miss reading your blog daily when you don't post! But I'm really glad to hear you're not giving it up altogether. 🙂

    I do have one question for you, though. You mentioned the blog isn't as fun for you as it used to be. Is there a way to get the fun back? Do you want to?

    Just some thoughts…..Something like a blog can be very nurturing if it's fun, but a burden if it's not. I vote for the fun part. 🙂

  24. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    As one of your clients, I think this is a great idea, but would it be possible to add an RSS feed (or is it already here and I've missed it?) that would notify followers of new posts?

  25. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    As one of your clients, I think this is a great idea, but would it be possible to add an RSS feed (or is it already here and I've missed it?) that would notify followers of new posts?

  26. This is bittersweet…but good for you for ultimately having the gumption (oh, I just love using that word) to balance your priorities.

    Can you please teach me how to say "no" when I am asked to lead the Girl Scout troop, rescue lost puppies, and head up the school fundraiser? I'd be really appreciative 😉

  27. I certainly can understand the time problem.

    It would be lovely if you could set up an email subscription service like Feedburner (Google) which would automatically send your blog to those who can't check every day for new content.

    It's proven quite handy for those irregular blogs I follow.

  28. Avatar Matt Heppe says:

    Don't stop! I love this blog. Just slow down and take it easy.

    This blog does writers a great service. Thank you for all the work you put into it.

  29. Avatar Robena Grant says:

    I think you're wise. Why spread yourself thin so that the blog becomes a chore rather than something fun. Thanks for all of your input and advice over the years.
    The BookEnds archives are extensive. I think you've tackled every possible topic, and writer's questions. If I want info, or need to jog my memory, I'll cruise through those.
    Meanwhile, catch up, catch your breath, and put some joy back into your life.

  30. Avatar Anne-Marie says:

    I could never quite understand where all the agents found the time to blog as thoroughly and wonderfully as they do. Your well-being is the most important thing, never forget that.


  31. We'll visit together, just not as often. Hope you enjoy what little down time you have to recharge.

    See you around!

  32. I think we all understand the need to have some spare time. Thanks for being willing share all your helpful information.

  33. Always. Blogging is a huge time committment.

  34. I'm sorry: wasn't this the lit agency where the one agent left all the sudden without explanation except they were going on to pursue McDonald's management or something?

    Yeah right. You just have so many clients and so many deals you don't have time for the blog. Why don't you just admit your folding?

    Why don't you just admit there is a total freeze on acquisitions all over the place right now?

    Am I wrong? Fine, tell me so. But frankly, I smell something not quite right between the lines of your post.

    Am I wrong?

  35. Jessica, you're a true gem in the blogosphere, so whether you post every day, once a week, or once a month, I'll always be glad to read what you have to say. Here's to a fabulous 2010!
    And since I'm catching up so late – Happy Groundhog Day!

  36. Avatar Donna Hole says:

    As someone who spent the last about 5 hours reading through blogs I follow and favorite, and getting nothing done on the beta reads or my own writing at the end of a VERY long day job, I can understand the need to cut back on something.

    Spare time: what's that? I've started thinking of it as the minimal amount of time I allow myself to sleep. Rather oversleep – on Sundays.

    So thanks for letting me off the hook a day or two on my blog reading. So many interesting people – so few hours in the after work schedule. 😉


  37. If you want to maintain your blog presence, I suggest republishing your classics, maybe adding something if you think the circumstances or your thinking has changed, and letting a new generation of visitors add their comments. Kind of like a second or reprint edition.

  38. Avatar Jeannie says:

    Yes, Gordon, we know you'll miss your five-days-a-week opportunity to harass Jessica.

    BTW, Colleen Lindsay has also gone from daily blog to occasional, and if you get nasty over there, she'll mop the floor with you.

  39. Avatar Lucy says:

    I can see I'll have to set up some RSS feeds. Honestly, Jessica, I couldn't blog every day if I tried; it's amazing that you've been able to do it for so long.

    We'uns will wait, and enjoy the posts.


  40. Avatar Kim Lionetti says:

    Blogging agents get criticized for not being "serious" agents, because they have enough time to provide aspiring authors with advice every day.

    Then when they decide to slow down the blogging to devote more time to clients, etc. people make assumptions that they're "folding."

    Guess you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Hate to disappoint the naysayers, but BookEnds is going strong.

  41. Avatar Anonymous says:

    It's cuz the traffic count is too low, right?

  42. Avatar Sarah says:

    This sounds like a very freeing post to write and I respect your decision (thoughts, wonderings…) about your blog. I think that the second something doesn't become fun and life-giving you should stop and go do something that is fun for you. Otherwise, the disinterest will come through and it becomes more of a drain than anything else. I've appreciate your words shared on this blog though, so will continue to come back again and again either hoping for a new posting or to gain insight from an older one!