Thursday, December 10, 2009

Waiting. That Literary Limboland unavoidable in the writing life.

After you hit "send" on that magazine article headed to an editor.

When you've finally added the last agonized finishing touches to that book query and aimed it at your A-list of prospective agents.

During the nail-biting weeks after your agent wings your book proposal off to publishers.

I'm in that last space now. I've been working on a book about dealing with stress for the last few months and it finally got to the gelled stage where it started to look like a real manuscript a few weeks ago.

Time to pitch. Out comes the proposal and down go the prayer knees.

What to do while you're waiting? It's essential to keep working - if not on polishing that manuscript (it will be a while before an interested editor asks to see the entire work), at least on other projects. Makes the time pass a little quicker (in theory).

How about magazine articles? Short term projects yield short term positive reinforcement (and keep those pay checks rolling in).

I like this quote from a highly respected literary agent in Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:

"One of the absolute best things you can do is to work on your craft of writng with shorter forms. Books are long - I know not very profound but true. Magazine articles and publication lead time is less, and they are much more achievable. There are too many writers who are stuck on submitting their long manuscript and never work on magazine articles. It's a shame."
~Terry Whalin, agent, Whalin Literary Agency