Eye on Potential; Ear to the Ground

Decision making, there is an art to it. In the ever-changing publishing market (just think about Harlequin’s surprise move a couple of months ago) our decisions must contain some flexibility. From the point of making the decision to implementing it, companies can change management, go out of business, drop lines, change directions. I thought about the title to this piece, “Eye on Potential; Ear to the Ground,” and laughed out loud. The visual that came to me was a woman on her side, ear pressed to the road, eye on the horizon, and butt in the air. So I asked Cathy to pose for me. : )


Now that would make for a vulnerable situation. So, what else is new in this crazy business?

Anyway, you may be wondering where these thoughts are going. (I know, sometimes they go nowhere.) I have a completed manuscript, with copy edits by my prior TWRP editor. She is now a freelance editor, and we have worked together on four prior manuscripts. I looked into a ton of options: Self-publishing, or submitting it to my publishing house for the romantic suspense line, entering it into a contest, querying an agent, or waiting until RWA National conference and pitching the idea to an agent or editor.

Talking over my options with Cathy made her exposed eye squint and tear-up. She said her ear that was pressed to the roadside detected the thunderous sound of many hooves. Stampede! but were they running toward or away? That she could not tell me. All she would say was her skirt had blown up around her neck making her pale pink underpants visible and her bum cold. She was not happy.


I knew it was time to quit procrastinating. So what did I do? I entered the manuscript into a contest. Then I submitted to an online pitch and got a request for a full, and I made editor and agent appointments at National. So, short of self-publishing, I now have a finger in many pies, and I’m confused. And Cathy is no longer speaking to me.

How do you make your decisions, butt in the air? Or do you choose a more refined way? Perhaps make a list and throw a dart?


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16 Responses to Eye on Potential; Ear to the Ground

  1. Sam Beck says:

    I think I’m one of those people who waits until decision make me, versus me making decisions. :} And I don’t recommend that approach. I like what you did. You have several different courses of action, and they’re not mutually exclusive, so you did the contest, and the online pitch, and a meeting during RWA. That’s awesome!

  2. robena grant says:

    Oh good, Sam. I was thinking, too much, too confusing? The older I get the more I shoot for simplicity, so this was unlike me. : ) Great to see you and to visit for a bit yesterday.

  3. LOL – I’ve never heard it put that way before, but I think from now on I’m going to make a point to make all my decisions “BUTT IN THE AIR!”
    love the visual and who know, I may just come up with some great plans that way.

    I am happy to know you are exploring multiple routes and hope that several pan out for your newest book.
    Please keep us posted.

    • robena grant says:

      Hey, Lynne! Good to see you yesterday. I can see you assuming that position. Ha ha. And yeah, who knows, to just put it all out there and see what happens might be the best idea.

  4. Well sometimes I make a list of pros and cons (but I’m sure talking to the CAthy doll is more fun LOL) but usually my gut or my heart or both tells me what I *really* want to do and I do it. And then I don’t second guess myself! Fun post, looking forward to seeing you at RWA!

    • robena grant says:

      I like that, Veronica. Normally I do the same. I choose one and then never question. This time I chose a few options and it feels weird. : )

  5. Gina B. says:

    I think it’s fantastic that you’ve got a lot of options and that you’re making things happen with this manuscript. It’s all going to work out, and no worries…Cathy will be speaking to you again soon 😉

    For me, making decisions is a work in progress. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do, and a lot of times I flounder and waffle. I try to trust my gut, but sometimes that’s hard to do, too. It’s so much easier when I know exactly what I want to do 🙂

  6. robena grant says:

    I love your confidence in my decision making, Gina. Ha ha. Also, it surprises me that you waffle. I always think of you as knowing with certainty and acting without question.

  7. I guess I go by my instincts. Is that the Butt in the Air type? Don’t know, but I get gut feelings about which way to go and usually I’m okay with my decisions, 80/20, I’d say! I like that you put lots of irons in the fire and doing as much as you can do, with this crazy changing world!

    • robena grant says:

      I like to think of you as the daring butt in the air type, Charlene. I’m sure your confidence comes from so many years of being in the biz. Great to celebrate your birthday, yesterday. : )

  8. While it’s important to weigh your options, waffling too much is a diversion tactic used by our fearful selves to hold us back. Trust your gut, make a decision, and go for it! Sometimes we’ll fall flat, but more often we’ll soar!
    But one things for sure, we’ll never get where we want by waiting.
    Great post Robena!

  9. Dee J. says:

    Such a good – and hard – question. Ultimately, I follow my heart. What I do today may not be the thing I do in the future, but if it suits me now, then I’m good. And if it doesn’t suit me, then it’s a lesson learned and I’m wiser for it. I know… not a real answer, but the road is yours to choose. You can do it all. Good luck!!!

    • robena grant says:

      I like that, Dee J. If it suits me now…that’s perfect, because really we have no control over what has happened or what might happen. I say, “Good answer!” : )

  10. londonmabel says:

    Hmm, I think I sort of wander a bit, thinking over the options, until something starts to Feel Right. Good luck with your novel!

    • robena grant says:

      Hey London:
      Good to hear from you. Sounds like you’re one of the trust your gut people. I weigh the pros and cons but spend too much time going back over already covered ground. Thanks for the good wishes.