Writers have to accept that “waiting” is part of the journey to publication. Some people are more patient than others, but we probably all experience moments when we grow impatient to receive an answer from an agent or publisher. When waiting starts to make you feel crazy or anxious, how do you handle it? Today, author Amanda Flower gives valuable tips for surviving.
Survival Tips for Waiting
by Amanda Flower
I have trouble living in the present. I always have. My eyes are always turned to the future and to what is next. This is even true when I travel. I’ve been to many wonderful places in the world, but many times wherever I am, no matter how spectacular, I have to tell myself to stop and enjoy the moment instead of worrying about the logistics of the next destination and all the contingencies that might spring up along the way. I could say I am a planner and this is a good quality. However, underneath it all I am naturally impatient. Think of someone you know who can’t sit through an entire movie without getting the jitters and you have me.
Impatience is not a good quality for a writer because publishing is a hurry up and wait business. Writers wait to hear from agents and editors, for release dates, and for reviews. Knowing I have a problem is half of the battle, but to cope, I have come up with a list of five survival tips that help me to be a little more patient.
1) Organize. I know this might be strange to be my number one, but it’s my first go-to. I have little time to keep my house in order when I’m in the middle of a manuscript, so I use my waiting time to put it back together. Best thing about it is there are immediate results, which I love.
2) Sleep. I’m not kidding. I write fulltime and I work as a librarian fulltime. Whenever I have a chance for a nap, I take it.
3) Write. While you are waiting for news about one manuscript, begin another. Getting caught up in a new story is a great way to use your nervous energy.
4) Fellowship. There not much time to see friends and family while on a deadline, so use those in-between times to have fun instead of to bite your nails while you wait to hear back from an agent or editor.
5) Move. Exercise is a great way to pass the time. Might as well get in shape so you look great for that author photo. I should probably use this one more. I will. Promise. Right after 1-4.
My advice would be not to worry about the day you finally receive the call for the big book deal you’ve dreamt about. Focus on now and focus on writing the best story that you can. The quality of your writing will earn you that contract, not the hours you spend worrying about it.
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Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.
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