The editor has had my first manuscript for about a month and a half. I’m not expecting a finished product until early February. What to do while I wait?
I’ve been amusing myself two ways: reading and writing. I read copiously, in and out of my genre. I read novels published through the traditional pathway, and I read self-published novels. I’ve also been doing a little beta reading, though that requires a lot of time to do right. But you have to give some to get some.
Reading is what keeps me excited about writing. I see things that work and, maybe more important, I see things that don’t work. A few weeks ago I read a novel that had been self-published on Amazon. The second chapter was a presentation of a long list of secondary characters and their back stories. I had no idea at that point which of those characters was important to the story. Later in the story, when the author would refer to one or another of them by name, I had to go back and remind myself which character that was. I also noticed a paragraph that appeared, word for word, twice in the same chapter. This experience reinforced to me the importance of hiring an experienced editor, whether the intent is to publish traditionally or self-publish.
I’m trying to control the only two things I can: my actions and my attitude. As of today, I’m a bit over 12,000 words into my next novel, yet unnamed, which is a continuation of the story from my first novel Beautiful (or whatever I end up calling it). Also, I’ve written down some thoughts for a short story or novella that is unrelated to my current project. Regarding my attitude…well, like many writers, I oscillate between excitement and despair. Some days I see myself so clearly as a financially-successful writer, other days I think my work is average at best. I’ve read that the best thing for a writer to do is to write something every day; I’ve been pretty good about that. Writing every day seems, for me at least, to modulate the low days. The more you practice something, the better you feel about it.