Think we haven't come far? This is what a manuscript would
have looked like before computers. And before...um...typewriters.
We're familiar with the old saying: put another iron in the fire. And that's never better advice than when you've just completed your first book.
Patience is a virtue. I know that. But gee it's hard sometimes! Having sent out my many copies of my query letter via email quite a few months ago for my first ever completed manuscript, the only way I could deal with the nervous anticipation (and fear of rejection) was to put the whole process out of my mind. No, really.
Well, actually it wasn't quite as easy as that makes it sound. But I took some good advice from my sister, who often surprises me with her wisdom and common sense - and I started writing a new book.
Otherwise I think I would have kept on re-editing, and tweaking, and worrying over the MS which had already been sent out. (and more on what I learned while writing my first book in a future post)
That's advice I can definitely pass on to any of you who are in the same position. Start something new. It really is the best way to get distance from the project which has quite possibly been consuming your every waking thought for many many months.
The beauty of this approach is multi-faceted:
- you'll be distracting yourself from thinking about the progress of your 'baby' out there in the harsh world of agents and publishers and rejection letters/emails
- you'll actually be doing something creative with your time
- you'll be proving to yourself that you have more than one story in you
- you'll be writing wonderfully, with focus, and avoiding all the mistakes which slowed you down in writing your first book, because you've learned from that experience, and you're now a better writer
- if your first manuscript is unsuccessful, you'll be well on the way to having something else to submit, and be that much closer to eventual success
- finally, and best of all: if you find an agent or publisher and they LOVE YOUR WORK then you'll have something else ready (or at least commenced) to show them
So you've written a book, and polished it, and submitted it? Good for you. Many, many people who claim they 'want to be writers' never make it that far, so give yourself a well deserved pat on the back, and a couple of weeks holiday.
Then get cracking...and start a new book.
Having trouble keeping the faith? Read this heartening story about one writer's very long path to publication.