You write the book!
You edit the book!
You submit the book!
Not you wait.
And while you’re waiting, what do you do? Drink. Sit up at night. Read other author’s works. Throw things?
Or use this time to keep at it. Write more, edit more promote what you’ve already had published, connect with other authors, write reviews for indie books that desperately need them, keep up with your social media, go to writing events: online and on site. Look up awards to submit to, promotional packages that will help boost sales once your book is accepted and published. Hell, just go for a walk or hit a club.
The publishing world is a mecca of opportunity. There is not time to sit back and wait. Writers can’t just write anymore, they have to have a presence and really get their work out there.
Some days this drives me nuts, but others I’m glad for it. Any author could easily become a shut in, but their work would suffer for it. One must keep in touch with humanity, explore, adventure around and really LIVE in order to have anything worth writing.
I am currently in the throws of working on getting yet another novel out there. We’re in the early early stages, no contracts yet. But every time I do this I’m reminded of how important self-worth and hard work is.
We all doubt ourselves. Even the most pompous narcissist has their moments. It’s healthy. Keeps you humbled.
Best of all, the more you do it, the tougher you get, and the higher the rewards. I just got another slew of royalties and although I am not a NY Times Bestselling author, there has been a steady amount of pay rolling in. It ebbs and flows, but there has been a consistent increase on the longer timeline.
That progress means everything to an indie author.
Will I break out into the mainstream someday?
Hell yeah! If I keep pushing, I know I’ll get there. But every author has to find the path that’s right for them. The writing road is like a Shel Silverstein poem, it may not always make sense, but there are enough laughs (maybe a few tears) and rewards along the way to get you to the broader meaning (usually).
I have unpublished manuscripts just waiting for their shot and ideas that are constantly growing. These projects offer variety and empower me to keep working even when one of my story babies just doesn’t work.
My latest fantasy story is nearly finished. I have a lot of hopes for this one and it’s taken a lot out of me. I’m constantly shifting between fearing it’s the worst thing ever written, to marveling at its brilliance. All part in part of the writer’s life.
The point is, there is always something to work on. There are always doors to be open. Sure, take a vacation a couple of times a year. My hiatuses allow me to keep some of my sanity, but WORK is what gets the story to the reader.
Keep at it.