Which Way Next…?

After spending the last year writing and revising three work-for-hire MG books, the moment I was waiting for finally came — the first book was published in the UK on June 20. Yay! So now, I supposed I could take a deep breath, relax, pop open some champagne and enjoy…


Instead, I began to suffer from the next writerly affliction that develops once something you’ve helped create enters the big, bad world…

Obsessive Amazon checking.

You know, what’s my sales rank? What is a sales rank, anyway? Has anyone reviewed my book? No? They must hate it! Or worse, no one is reading it! Or, maybe it’s because everyone who read it is 9 years-old and they don’t have Amazon account… or no, they hate it!


You get the picture. A person can drive themselves crazy. As if agent querying, being on submission, auditioning for writing jobs and obsessive email checking wasn’t enough. Turns out, that’s just the beginning. (Who knows, probably even JK Rowling sits around on her piles of money and fan mail and monitors ticket sales at Harry Potter World. Or not. Whatever.) All I’m saying is… It. Just. Never. Ends!

So what’s a writer to do?

Ask any industry professional, fellow writer, your mom, and they will wisely say:

Work on your next project! That’s what you should already be doing, after all! (Oh, and fold the laundry while you’re at it… )

But sometimes, diving into the next big thing is easier said than done. It’s not always simple figuring out what that project should be… Do I use my newfound experience writing WFH to improve an old project with great voice that stalled out plotwise? Or do I take one of the gazillion ideas rattling around in my head and start something brand-spanking new? Try to find another WFH? Sleep for two weeks?

(I’m definitely not folding the laundry, that’s for sure. It’s just fine where it belongs. In the dryer until I need something fresh to wear.)

So, MUF readers — How do you decide what direction to take once you’ve finished something and kissed it goodbye? Tell me in the comments below.

As for me, I’ve got to run. It’s been exactly 57 minutes since I’ve checked Amazon. They update sales ranks every hour, you know…

Jan Gangsei is a writer on the Welcome to Weirdsville series by Working Partners Ltd., published in the UK by Little, Brown Young Readers. The first book, Happyland, was released June 20. The second, Ghost School, comes out August 15. The third releases October 17.

Jan Gangsei
1 Comment
  1. Big congratulations to you. That is an extremely inspiring accomplishment. I must say work-for-hire is so intriguing. Please do celebrate with a favorite meal and movie night or something just for you!
    I’ve read advice to give oneself a break in between projects, then start scribbling again. You will find your way 🙂
    And again, congratulations, such a huge accomplishment and impressive! You worked hard!