Monday, July 2, 2012

The Waiting Game

It's been one week today that my agent began submitting my new young adult novel to publishers. As a result, I now have a new reason to obsessively check my email and jump every time my cell phone rings.
My fellow authors can empathize with the agony and ecstasy of having to play the waiting game. So, what's a writer to do until the word comes?

While there's nothing definite we can do to distract us from waiting to hear the results of our agent's submission to publishers, there are some things we can do to help pass the time. One thing I can tell you that I'll never do is go back and read the novel under review. If I do, I'm likely to find things wrong with it. Those things will then haunt my dreams and keep me from being able to think positive thoughts for the future of the project. Instead, here are some things I will do.

First, and most obvious, work on a new story. Immersing myself in a new story not only redirects my energy but it gives me something new to be excited about. Not to mention, it also allows me to have another story in the can should I need it for the future.

Read books by other authors. One of the best ways for an author to improve her craft is to learn from other authors. The best way to do that is to read their work. Another great thing about this is that I get to enjoy the chance to be a reader which writers sometimes forget to do when they're focusing on their own work.

Along with reading the work of other authors, I like to lend a hand to young aspiring authors. My favorite way to do that is to spend time on my favorite on line site. This allows me not only to inspire and aid others but it gives me the opportunity to expand my reading audience. I call that a win win situation.

Spend time with those you've neglected while creating your masterpiece. I don't know about you, but when I'm writing a new story, it becomes my sole focus. I get so determined to finish the story and see how it all ends that I tend to ignore my family and friends. Having a finished story being sent to publishers and no deadline for other work gives me the chance to remind everyone what I look like!

Take a vacation from writing, whether that's an actual vacation where you leave the house or a vacation where you don't turn on the computer makes no difference. Sometimes the best thing we can do as writers is give our imagination the chance to refresh and develop new ideas. Forcing ourselves to write every day sometimes has a negative effect on our stories. They feel forced and we don't enjoy what we've created. What's the point of spending so much time forcing a bad story only to delete it the next day? What have we really accomplished? Nothing but giving ourselves a headache.

So, there it is, ways to beat the agony of the waiting game. It might not work for everyone, but it's better than doing nothing but waiting for the phone to ring or checking my email every five minutes. 

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