Saturday, July 21, 2012

Patience For The Virtue Challenged


taken from freedigitalphotos.net

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.

Read
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 Leashwww.mmgriep.com or on TwitterFacebook, or 

10 comments:

Ane Mulligan said...

Good advice to get over those waiting blues. :)

Heather Day Gilbert said...

I'd second the advice to read UNDERCURRENT--in fact, I just read it in one of those "waiting" seasons. Great writing and memorable Vikings--nothing better to take your mind off your troubles! In fact, the only tip I haven't incorporated in this wait is to read a craft book. Definitely a good step. Thanks for the hints, Michelle!

Barbara Scott said...

As always, Michelle, great advice!

Ane Mulligan said...

Michelle is always full of it ... advice I mean. And it's good advice. ;o) She's off galavanting around the countryside this weekend and will see your comment when she gets back, Heather. :)

Ane Mulligan said...

Like I told Heather, Michelle is full of great advice. She's a super crit partner. :)

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Thanks, Ane. I love Michelle's sense of humor and her grammatical smarts, too. Not to mention that we share a deep and abiding love of Vikings (my novel is about Vikings, too!).

Ane Mulligan said...

Can't wait to read it, Heather!

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Thanks so much, Ane! That's so sweet!

S. Kim Henson said...

This is great advice even if there's no book in sight.

Michelle Griep said...

Hey gang ~ Thanks for the fantastic comments. I was out in the wild for the past week. Talk about cyberspace withdrawal symptoms...wowzer!