Monday, November 9, 2015
No Downtime For You!
I've finally finished my latest draft and turned it in to my agent. If you're a regular reader of this blog, thank you for hanging in there with me. I hope to be posting more regularly for a while. Finishing a draft is intense--for the past two months nearly everything else in my world has fallen by the wayside. I've managed to feed and clothe my family, but that's about it. Now I can breathe a little and clean my house, have coffee with friends, go out to lunch with my mom, get ready for the holidays.
So the process will go like this: Mr. Agent will read this version of the manuscript. He may or may not suggest further revisions. If this version of the manuscript is fine as is, he will then shop it around to various publishers. If a publisher is interested, they will make an offer. Then there will be contract negotiations. After that, the real work begins.
There's a huge amount of downtime in publishing. The steps I just described above might take several months. If you're an impatient or obsessive person--which is probably 99% of us--the publishing industry is enough to send you over the edge. What you need to do to is kick up your feet, sip a margarita, and wait for the phone to ring while basking in the glory of your achievement. You've been working hard, haven't you? You deserve to do nothing for a while--so turn on that TV, grab some salty snacks, and get down to some serious binge-watching...
To hijack the words of that immortal Seinfeld character: "No downtime for you!"
The worst thing you can do is sit around waiting for something to happen. You have to start the next thing immediately to save your sanity. It's even better if you're so excited about the next thing that the manuscript you just turned in seems old and tired and you're sick of it. The new thing should be so shiny and sparkly and full of promise that it's all you can think about. I know it sounds like a drag to have to keep going but trust me--this is the worst possible time to take a break. You can goof off later once you have your new project well underway.
I'm thrilled to say I have just such an idea in my back pocket. I also have a short story I've been picking at for a long time that I've been eager to finish. And, of course, I have this blog. These things will be more than enough to occupy me in the coming months.
Now if I could just stop checking my email.
In the meantime, are there any topics you'd like me to cover in a future blog post? Post your publishing or writing questions here and I'll do my best to answer them for you.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog.