Alright, so, you’ve got a book, and you’ve sent it around to a few folks to try to get them to help you sell it to the masses, but you’re in the terrible waiting phase of hoping to hear something back. And, honestly, your anxiety about the whole process couldn’t be higher. You’re probably at a point right now where you can’t stop thinking about whether anyone will ever want to help you publish your book or not. Maybe you spend far too much time stalking the agents/publishers you’re waiting to hear from on Twitter, wondering if the comment they made about a “great story” they found in their slush pile is yours.

In my experience, and in talking with other authors who have been in this same spot, this is common. You have found yourself in the terrible position of wanting something to happen so badly, but having to wait in this place of uncertainty and insecurity for a length of time that you simply won’t know will ever end.

And, being in that headspace for any actual length of time simply isn’t healthy.

You need to do something.

Sure, you could go out on walks, take a vacation, maybe spend some time with your family whom you haven’t really paid attention through during this whole process of trying to craft your first novel, but the reality is that none of these will actually get your mind off of hoping and dreaming that some person in the publishing industry will come down from the heavens like an angel with a message of love and acceptance.

And you already know what will get your mind off the waiting. Deep down, you’ve always known. While you sit there and hit refresh on your email client, hoping for that email which will change your life forever (because, of course it will), you’re also already spending a ton of time thinking about what you know you should be doing during all this time you’re sitting in front of your computer.

Working on book two.

Remember that period not too long ago where you were writing your first draft and your mind was consumed with all of the ideas of plot lines and character developments and little pieces of world building which you came up with that were oh so clever? That period of time where you couldn’t stop talking to everyone you saw about all the cool things you’re doing in this first novel of yours, and, well, honestly bored everyone to death about vague discussions about your book because you don’t want to spoil the ending for people who probably won’t ever actually read it in the first place?

That’s right, buck-o, now’s the time to get back to writing. After spending all this time editing and preparing marketing materials for agents and slowly trying to build an audience, it’s possible you’ve forgotten what it was like to actually sit down and write a book. In my experience, you’ll find that it comes back to you incredibly quickly. Sure, if you haven’t been writing during this period, you might struggle at first to force it back into your daily routine, but give it a week of daily word quotas, and I guarantee you’ll fall right back into step.

Even if you got into book-writing for the fame and money which every single author gets, (and the babes, of course) the reality is that at least some small part of you got into it because you’re passionate about writing. It is nigh impossible to put all the time and energy into writing a whole freaking novel without being at least a little passionate about it. It’s an act of absolute love, because it’s not something you can simply crap out in an afternoon. It’s a long, drawn out process of plotting and planning and writing and rewriting and reading and scheming and, well, just being completely consumed by a story you feel needs to be told.

And, if you made it to the end of your first book, more than likely, you finished it with some ideas for a second, whether its set in the same world or a completely different one.

And even more importantly, it is the number one absolute best way to keep your mind off the terrible waiting you’re doing.

AND, it also gives you yet another book to sell. Which, on the surface might sound terrifying because you’re already struggling with selling the first one, but, from what I’ve seen, there’s nothing agents like more than an author who can actually write more than one book. Well, there’s actually probably tons of things they like more, but one-hit wonders are incredibly low on their list of things they like.

So, take this time, write some more, get back into the creative piece of things.

It’ll be a fantastic outlet for yourself while you’re still in the administrative side of trying to convince someone to help you sell your book.

And, it’ll give you a little more patience to try to work with agents and publishers before you fall victim to the somewhat inevitable final conclusion when you can’t handle rejections and waiting any longer…Self-publishing.


Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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