Have you just submitted your New Year’s Resolution manuscript and now you’re waiting for a response?
Do you feel adrift?
Are you unsure what to do?
Then it’s time to launch another ship!
Years ago, I recall reading an article (probably in a writers magazine, and I apologize to the author and magazine for being unable to give proper citation now) suggesting that authors think of each project as a ship. While you wait for one ship to come in, you set another out to sea. If one comes back empty, send it out again. The vessels will sail back and forth until more return filled than unfilled, and you will be a success.
Or something like that. I read this article a long time ago. But the concept stuck with me so much that I think of it time and time again.
Need I remind you that publishing moves slowly? While you wait, consider engaging in one or more of the following suggestions:
- Read in your genre to sharpen your sense of tone, plot, and voice.
- Read different books to enlarge your world.
- Read writing books to hone your craft.
- Draft the next book in your series.
- Write articles to send to magazines.
- Author guest blog posts.
- Write posts for your blog in advance.
- Volunteer to judge a writing contest.
- Volunteer to help with a writers conference.
- Ask how you can help a local or national writers group.
- Join a critique group.
- Disengage and recharge.
Waiting is never easy, but waiting doesn’t have to be unproductive. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you many acceptance letters in the future!
Like me, you may find waiting
is far beyond their ken,
so if you find it grating,
just chalk it up to Zen
and listen to vine-flowers
a-growing by the wall
to make for you a bower
‘neath which your dreams stand tall.
You cannot rush their patient climb,
so heed the things they say;
surrender to the flow of time,
surrender your own way,
and you’ll discover, in that place,
the steel core of your writing grace.
Participating in a writing group is great thing to do while waiting. I just joined a new one because my old one doesn’t meet during quarantine. It motivates me to read outside my genre, which is quite refreshing, and keeps my editing skills fresh, too. Love my writing buddies!
This is just excellent! Best ideas I have read in a long time for a writer.
I love the ship analogy, Tamela! Thanks so much for sharing.
Hi Deena! Fun to see Twitter friends here, too. Enjoyed your newsletter this month.
Kristen Joy Wilks
Great ideas, Tamela! The idea of sending out ships is a more encouraging way to look at the investment of time and heart that goes into each venture. I like it! As I wait to hear back from my current ships, I am editing a ms. that I wrote during NaNoWriMo. Once I send it to my critique partner, I think I’ll outline another story. I don’t want to forget magazine writing either. Such good idea starters, thank you.
This is a great list, Tamela. I appreciate that “disengage” is included.
During my current season of waiting, I launched an author newsletter. It’s been a fun way to connect with people, use my marketing background, and just play.
Copious amounts of reading is a given for me 😉
Lately though, I’ve felt a nudging to rest and let it be.
Patti Jo Moore
Great post, Tamela!
I love the analogy with the ships. 🙂
Thank you for always sharing such informative (and often entertaining!) posts. I don’t comment often, but do always read them (including the posts by the other Agents too).
Blessings, Patti Jo
Thanks, Tamela for this timely post. i was especially interested in your comments that even if one is in the middle of completing a proposal, one should continue to push other writing projects while completing a proposal.
Lisa Larsen Hill
Thanks Tamela! What a terrific post and yes I am waiting for a return ship. What a wonderful way to look at it. Just starting out, so working on my social media platform. Thanks for your encouragement! Blessings and joy, Lisa
Thank you Tamela!
I have not written, outside of academic assignments, in far too long. This encourages me to dust off the manuscript I started drafting years ago, and re-engage.
These are fantastic suggestions. I love the idea of a ship going out and preparing to send another ship out. Thank you for sharing, Tamela!
Carol Nicolet Loewen
Thank you Tamela. Such good advice to keep working on the “next ship” while waiting. Besides, it’s not healthy to sit around waiting for news!
Appreciate your suggestions!