Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ten things to do while waiting for your next book contract

Once again, I find myself in that incredibly uncomfortable place where I've fulfilled the obligations of my current book contract and am waiting to hear back on the next proposal.

*pausing for commiserating groans*

Anyone who has ever been brave enough to send their work out into the publishing world has hung around in this zip code. Whether it's an unpublished writer waiting to hear back from an agent they've queried , or a multi-published author waiting for word on their newest story. Wherever a person is along the publishing spectrum, Waitingville is a place no one wants to visit.

So, what can you do when you find yourself checking email every half-hour for news from your agent, or tapping the screen of your BlackBerry to make sure it isn't suffering from a technical glitch? (Because it should be ringing with a call from your agent, right?)

Here are my top ten things to do while waiting for my next book contract:

1. Develop character profiles for your next book

2. Search for five new industry-related people to follow on Twitter

3. Try a new plotting technique to plot your next book

4. Research the trip to Ireland you plan to take with your advance money

5. Decide which bills to pay with advance money and settle for weekend trip to Disney World instead (hey, at least you still get to see a castle)

6. Start first chapter of your next book

7. Completely scrap first chapter of your next book

8. Volunteer to hold a workshop on writing at your local library

9. Find better way to began first chapter of your next book

10 Accept that waiting is a part of the business and learn to live with it.


Kandy Shepherd said...

Excellent advice!
Fingers crossed you won't be waiting too long for good news on your proposal!

Sean D. Young said...

Great advice Farrah. I sense the humor in your post as well. (smile)

Playing the waiting game can be tough. Good luck on the next proposal. I'm sure you're going to do fine.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Farrah,

I find that the only way to handle waiting is simply to let it go. Don't think about it. Work on something else. I often remind new authors that any one book is not that important. If you're a writer, there's always another story waiting to be told.


Shelia Goss said...

I'm sure the next post we get will be news of a renewed contract. Your fans want new books :)

As a writer, I definitely understand what we all call the "waiting game." Hang on in there and great tips :)

Maxine Thompson said...

Thanks for these great tips!

Maxine Thompson

Phyllis Bourne said...

Awesome tips, Farrah!

I'm always researching my trip to Europe if/when I get a big advance. Right now, I'm up to a ::snort:: six month stay in luxury accommodations.

Good luck on your new proposal. Let us know when you get the good news!

Shauna Roberts said...

Good tips, Farrah. I think part of the reason I'm dragging my feet on my next book is that I believe I'm going to sell one of the ms. circulating any day, and then I'll be busy with the editor's rewrite instructions. I could have gotten a lot of book written while I've been doing that.

Genella deGrey said...

- Try to whittle down your ever-growing blog list . . .

I'm right there with you!

Farrah Rochon said...


I'm not the only one! I'm not the only one!

Liane Spicer said...

Yes! Very timely advice for me, Farrah! The waiting game can cripple ya if you don't learn to just get on with the writing.