You’ve typed “The End” on your manuscript. You’ve had it critiqued and edited. You’ve polished it until is
shines like a new car. You send it off with great hopes and even greater trepidation to prospective agents and publishers.
And now you wait for their response. But, what do you do while you wait?
A chocolate binge? Housework? Chores and fix-it-ups around the house—stuff that gets neglected in the writing process? Time with family and friends? Time with God?
These are all good activities, unless you overdo the chocolate binge. But can we ever overdo chocolate?
I have one other suggestion.
Don’t stop while you’re waiting for a response. Don’t let the writing muscles atrophy.
When I finish a manuscript and send it off, I’ll take a day or maybe two to unwind or do something fun. If I let more time than that pass by, I’m too tempted to go back to the manuscript and start tweaking it. The result weakens the work because I find myself changing words but not improving it.
That’s when I start a new project. I have proposals out to several agents. We all know agents can take a long while to get back to us. Starting a new project keeps me from fixating on waiting for a response.
New projects work on several levels. One is to keep the creative juices flowing, to discover new characters and new story worlds. Another is to maintain the discipline of writing, of putting my butt in the chair everyday and writing. A third is to give voice to the ideas that are constantly churning, waiting for expression.
What have you found helpful after you have submitted a manuscript?