Monday, December 26, 2011

Uh...Now What?

First, hope you all had a very merry Christmas. I certainly did! And I am pleased to announce that I am writing this blog post from my new MacBook (see it up there? Isn't it cute?). Gah! So excited! My hubby knows how to make a girl happy!

So, it’s the day after Christmas. The presents have all been unwrapped, the cookies are getting stale, and at least one new toy has probably been broken. The lines for customer service at Wal-Mart stretch out to the parking lot, our pants are all fitting a little more snugly, and there’s that lovely feeling of, “Now what?”

I’m also getting that “Now what?” after-Christmas feeling with my writing. My Christmas came in October when I finally submitted my book (whew!). I’m waiting on a reply, and rather than being productive, I’m twiddling my thumbs. It’s as if there’s a part of me that believes that if it’s accepted, it means I can do this. I can write. I have a future and it’s bright and here we go!

But if it’s rejected then…? What am I really doing?

I know it’s dumb, and I know I won’t stop writing even if it is rejected. In fact, I’ll probably start sending it to more publishers and see what happens. But I guess it’s like I’ve just been holding my breath since October. And my lips are starting to turn blue.

Now what?

There’s a part of me that knows I should probably get back to my novel. But it’s kind of lost its shiny newness (did I mention the broken toy and the stale cookies?) and when I think about it all I can see in my head is a big flashing neon sign that says, “WORK! WORK! WORK!”

I don’t like work. I like fun.

So far my writing successes have been short little things- a letter written for a contest, the Totally Cliché short story, some stories for the Friend magazine. All very quick and fun. Even the book I submitted was a compilation of (short) poems. My inner brat is saying, “Do I really have to write a WHOLE book? But that’s HARD! And it’ll take forEVER!” (Wah, wah, wah, wah)

So my question is this: How do I get over this post-submission slump? Is there any way to get the fire back in my fingers or do I just have to do the ol’ ‘power through’?

I would love some advice on this front, especially from you veteran novelists out there. Once you submit your work, then what? Do you hold your breath until your lips turn blue or do you delve into something new? Any inspiring words would be helpful! (even non-inspiring words wouldn’t be half bad!)


  1. I've done a lot of things while waiting for a response. Once I drafted a whole new book before anyone got back to me.

    Have you submitted to an editor or to a literary agent? Did you commit to doing an exclusive? If not, you can always start hunting around for someone else to submit to. Even if you did do an exclusive submission, you can start building your list of who to submit to next. Then if your manuscript isn't accepted, you know exactly what to do next.

  2. I haven't submitted a novel yet, so I don't have any real advice. Except...I feel that way right now, too, and I think it's just the time of year. So give yourself a break. After the new year you can make resolutions (that are meant to be broken) and light a fire. Nice Macbook, and welcome to Mondays.

  3. Thanks guys! Rebecca- I like that plan. Always good to have a plan B in place, especially when devising the plan B keeps me occupied!

    Jessie- Maybe it is that time of year! It's the most blaa-aah tiiiime of the yeeeeaaar! New after-Christmas song. ;-)



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