Jason Gurley

By day, I'm a user experience designer; by evenings/weekends, I write novels from my home in Scappoose, Ore. My newest is Awake in the World, published February 2019 by Roaring Brook Press; my previous novel, Eleanor, was published by Crown in 2016 and has since been translated into German, Portuguese, and Turkish. I’m currently working on a new project.

The single-tasker

Writers are jealous, awful beasts. In my experience, it doesn't matter how successful you get — though I imagine there is an upper altitude where most things just no longer matter to you, because you're That Successful — someone is always going to do something better than you. They'll get a better book deal, sign with the agent you wanted, see their book become a movie.

I'm no different. This is what I envy: writers who are able to juggle more than one project at a time. I know a few of these folks, and they are wonderful people, and I hate them. Well — no, of course I don't hate them. I just wish I could do what they do. Two books at a time? Three published in a year? Writing simultaneously for children and adults and teens? Jamming out a book of essays while writing a nonfiction book and collecting poetry for publication? Jesus, people. And: bravo, I guess. I couldn't do any of that. 

Back in late 2016, my agent and I sold a couple of books to my editor at Roaring Brook Press. I got started on the first one right away, and then, a little over a year into that process, we started talking about the next one. As a result, for the first half of 2018, I've been editing book one (Awake in the World) while first-drafting book two (as-yet nameless, but unrelated to Awake). And it's even more complicated, because I've got all these ideas kicking around for the next book, which I'm writing down but which I can't actually make room to think about.

Y'all, this is hard.  

That said, it's not really that hard.

I mean, it could be harder. I've got it pretty easy. I shouldn't complain. 

I probably didn't even need to write this blog post.


Living in the margins