Quit Waiting Write Now

lion with computer 2

It’s been just over a month since the Atlanta Writer’s Conference where I got to float around for my 15 seconds of fame after winning three separate awards for my manuscript and pitch. That manuscript (a murder mystery called OVERBALANCED) has since been placed in the hands of five different professionals (4 agents and 1 editor). If I told you that I haven’t been watching my email feed, I’d be lying. Sure, I’ve been sending out more queries in spite of the holiday season when I’m guessing things slow way down in the publishing world. I’ve also written a short story that I submitted to a contest and I sent a query about a short essay to the Boston Globe. But I’m dying to hear from the folks who currently hold my fate on their computer screens (it’s all digital submissions these days).

What I really need to do is work on the next manuscript. It’s called OVERCOMPENSATED. (See what I’m doing there?) I can tell you that it is at times monumentally difficult to write a sequel when you haven’t yet secured the first book’s spot in immortality (on Kindle, at least). I’m writing the second book so it can stand alone if that ends up being necessary. It’s not like the HUNGER GAMES trilogy where book three makes no sense absent the first two books. And I confess that when I dive in, I’m super excited about the next novel. It’s got at least two storylines and a bit of history as well so it’s rich and satisfying, at least in my head. I’m still working on the writing part, thus the title of this post. I hope to have the new manuscript done by May.

Write now. It’s my new mantra and it will take me away from eyeballing my email feed. I actually Googled a question about how long you might expect to wait to hear from an agent who has requested your manuscript. It’s certainly months, at the least, and in once case, an agent blogged about having a year’s worth of manuscripts in her pile. Yikes! If I don’t hear anything for a year, I promise you that you will hear the sound of my head exploding, wherever it is that you live.

So the mystery portion of this post is about the waiting involved when trying to get an agent. It takes ages and yet, it might be today that I get an email. Who the heck knows? I can tell you that at the panel discussion at the Atlanta Writer’s Conference, every single agent warned about the lengthy review process so I’m not at all surprised. Just eager. Eager to land an agent and then start the waiting process all over again as she submits my manuscript to various editors. I can do this!

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