Sink into self-pity
It’s easy to sink into that stagnant waiting phase after you send a few queries, or your manuscript goes on submission. You feel incapable of doing anything except constantly refreshing your email, and checking your wifi connection.
You go to bed at night after another long day of receiving no good news, wondering what’s wrong with your query, your pages, or you. In the dark of night, little niggling doubts start telling you maybe you should just quit. It’d be so much easier.
Then you wake up and hit the refresh button a hundred times before the sun rises. You become that bratty kid screaming, “Look at me! Look at ME! Read my stuff first! Like it NOW. Pick me!”
Nobody is trying to make us crazy. Agents, editors and publishers are busy. We take care of the crazy part quite efficiently all by ourselves.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The key is to get busy.
We’re only as good as our next book, so write it. I read somewhere that the illustrious Ken Follett – hugely successful NYT Bestselling author, with several books adapted to film – wrote ten books before he got published. Imagine how good he was by then. I don’t know about you, but I’m on my fifth novel. Who am I to assume it’s going to happen faster for me than it did for Ken?
The next story is always the top priority. We’re writers, so we write, and write often, and we get BETTER.
But we can’t write every minute of the day, so what then? Back to the refresh button? No! Stalk prospective agents/editors on Twitter? No!
Stay busy. If you don’t have a family who depends on you, pick up a new hobby or interest. Volunteer for an organization or issue that you’re passionate about. Learn a new language. Anything that takes all your concentration will do nicely.
You’ll begin to feel the balance take over and the crazies taking a back seat. It’s a wonderful feeling.