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Sometimes I wonder if there’s any business slower than publishing. You wait to hear back from a query. Then wait some more if a proposal is requested. Finally you wait to find out if your manuscript is accepted. And that’s just from an agent. You get to go through the whole process again with publishers.
Why does it take so long???
Even though we live in an age of instant communication, the piles of requests agents and editors must go through aren’t getting any smaller. If anything, they’re larger, which makes the wait time even longer.
So what’s a writer to do besides the clichéd nail biting technique?
Start a New Manuscript
Okay, so this is the most obvious, which is exactly why I put it at the top of the list. There’s no better way to get over moping by the mailbox than to set your mind on a new set of characters with a whole new story full of roadblocks to construct.
Try a Different Venue
If you’re not a blogger yet, begin writing a blog. Or try writing devotionals. Maybe give a novella a shot. Writing outside your ‘normal’ genre can enhance and expand your current skill set.
Work on Platform
When you do finally hit it big and hold a contract in your hot little hand, you’re going to need a way to market your blockbuster. It’s never too late to begin building a network of followers. Pick the social media of your choice and go for it.
Focus on a Craft Book
Between writing projects is a great time to pick up and devour a craft book. May I suggest Self-Editing For Fiction Writers? And if you’ve done that one already, check out The Plot Whisperer.
Update Your Website
Add a new picture. Toss in some new copy. Keep in mind that visitors to your website need takeaway value. Come up with some new word gifts for them. And if you don’t have a website, now’s the time to make one.
Devour a book or two in your favorite fiction genre. Then live large and read one that’s outside your usual genre box. Need a suggestion? Take a trip back to the Viking age for a rollicking romantic vacation with UNDERCURRENT (yes, shameless promo plug).
The secret of patience is doing something else in the meanwhile. Pick one or more items from this list and voila…instant virtue!
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas…professionally, however, for the past 10 years. Her latest release, UNDERCURRENT, is available by Risen Books. You can find her at: Writer Off the Leash, www.mmgriep.com or on Twitter, Facebook, or