You’ve typed “The End” on your manuscript and you’ve sent it off, with great hopes and some 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.
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 to my agent, I may take a day or two to unwind. 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. When I sent my latest proposal and completed manuscript to my agent, I spent some time gathering information for books two and three in the series.
Then I put that work aside and began working on my current project—a fantasy novel. I needed to keep working but I also needed a break from the submitted project. To switch from historical suspense to fantasy is a significant break.
I do this for several reasons. One is to keep the creative juices flowing. 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?
Right on, Henry. I’ve found even in times of tragedy like the death of our son, my writing helped me get through it. I cherish my early morning writing time and guard it jealously.
Thank you, Jackie.