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
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.
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!