I'm sure you also realize that the same goes for editors at publishing companies! There's a reason why this industry is a slow paced game. There's a limited amount of hands and a bazillion (yes, that number is accurate for this blog entry) manuscripts waiting to be read.
Now that I'm finally part of the submission process, I'm beginning to understand first hand that the publishing process really is a waiting game. And the key is to be as patient as possible. Surprised?
You've edited your manuscript, and you've gotten the all clear from your agent. Your proposal is glistening, and you couldn't be more proud of it. Now it's time to kick back, and let your agent get to work. He / She already has their sights set on a slew of editors that they think will be interested in your epic masterpiece.
So now what do you do? Much like querying, it's time for you to relax a bit, and take on some new projects. And I'm sure your patience will be well rewarded when you get that awesome phone call from your agent.
Since I'm currently riding on the submission train, I'll let you in on what I've been doing to keep myself busy. Feel free to apply any of these methods to your "waiting game", whether it's during the submission process or the querying process.
So what do you do?
1) WRITE A NEW BOOK!
That's a given! Come on people, we're writers! It's what we do! At the moment I'm working on three books...that's right three. Am I crazy? Yes, of course I am. I've got the sequel to COPERNICUS NERDICUS in the works (which will most likely change if / when I get a publishers lol), and I'm also working on a brand new MG series as well as my "famed" Villain Intern book.
Let me tell you how hard it is to jump from writing MG to an adult black comedy...it's impossible. A book has never stressed me out as much as NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. Ah well...
Seriously though, keep your creative juices flowing and get to writing a new book!
2) BETA FOR YOUR FELLOW WRITERS!
There's no better way to improve your craft than to beta read for your writer pals. I've got two beta reads to complete and I apologize again to those waiting on it, but I tell ya, you learn a thing a two from doing it. I notice so much more about my own writing through others. Not to mention, it makes me realize how many awesome writers I'm actually associated with.
The writing world is huge, so get to know your writers through the best means possible. READING THEIR MANUSCRIPT!
3) TAKE ON A NEW HOBBY
I've taken this opportunity during the submission process to really get back into my artwork (unfortunately now, my PC that I use for art has been on the fritz for over a month and I need to build a new one....). But yeah, I've discovered my passion for drawing again, which is a great thing because I actually want to do a MG book with illustrations in it shortly.
Dawn has brought up that she has been wanting a choose your own adventure styled book (those were the best), and doodling again has help me come up with a few ideas. We'll see where it goes.
But seriously, pick up a new hobby to kill time. Try baking, sewing, a new sport (go go hockey), anything to kill time!
Just don't take up drinking...come on, Indy.
4) TAKE A VACATION
Seriously, you've been working so hard for so long, you've deserved a break. Go on a trip, and forget about it all for awhile. You need to get your mind off things and let your brain reset. Everyone deserves a little R&R, even us crazy writers.
So jump on a plane, and go somewhere. (I suggest Sardinia off the coast of Italy. It's breathtaking!)
5) ABOVE ALL - DON'T STRESS OUT
This is the most important thing to do. Just relax. There's no point on focusing on the "what if's..." - just let things happen on their own. You're going to end up killing yourself by stressing out so much during the submission process. You need to be patient. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!!! (I've learned that from the Ultima video game series lol).
Seriously though, if you let the submission process get to you, you're going to end up like this....
And nobody wants to see you like that..
So what do you do to kill time during the submission process? (or the querying process!)