NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Writing Wednesday: Tips for Writers Playing the Waiting Game

Oh, sweet limbo! How we curse it. How we think, Yeah, just wait. When I'm a published author, there'll be no more of this wondering what's going on, waiting for an agent to get back to me, tapping my feet while an editor considers my work. I can't wait for that.


I guess you see where this is going. Every writer, published or not, plays this fun game of wait-and-see. Wait for the editor's edits. Wait for the copyedits. Wait for galleys. Wait for that expert source to get back to you. Wait for publishers. Cover art. Bloggers. Reviews. You get the picture.

So what can you do?

Here's the thing: A writer's career is not a one-person show, no matter how much we talk about the lonely life of scribbling away in the garret. You can't force anyone's hand, whether it's an agent, editor, reviewer, or someone else. But you can force your own hand and do your part of the job--i.e., write the books.
So no matter what you're waiting for, there's something you can be doing. Try one or more of these:
  • brainstorm new ideas and/or dig up old manuscripts that you might be able to revive
  • sketch out the next book in your series
  • write something totally new and outside your comfort zone
  • try your hand at "flash fiction"--a short-short story
  • write a few "evergreen" blog posts and stock up for the future
  • update your website
  • work up a new school-visit presentation
Your job doesn't stop just because you're waiting on the next step. Try juggling more than one project at a time; get more irons in the fire. Being able to jump from one project to the next gives you flexibility and keeps your creative muscles toned.
You might as well get used to it. We can't afford to sit around during those long wait times. You'll always have them, and the better you use them, the more productive you'll be.

image by Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA (Bored, bored, bored  Uploaded by Jacopo Werther). Use permitted under this Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons. 

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