Odom was surprised. He figured he'd be trying all along, to no avail.
The father-in-law said, "Well, when the phone rings I think you show up and you're prepared, you do a great job, you're an affable guy. If the phone didn't ring today, what did you do for yourself? Did you read anything? Did yo write anything? Did you call anyone? Did you send an email?"
It made me think. What do I do as I wait for the James Patterson-sized check for my not-even-published-or-even-accepted-manuscript to arrive? How do I spend my time as I pine away for the next acceptance email? What am I doing while I wait to topple Jodi Picoult off her pedestal?
What in the world am I doing? The answer, sadly, is not even close to enough...
Here is the run-down on my current "big" WIPs, so you can understand what a slug I've lately been:
- I'm polishing up a NaNoWriMo from 2016. I've written a synopsis (a short one--500-800 words in length) and have gotten feedback on it... but not the manuscript yet. In fact, nobody has seen the manuscript (except for me, of course). I've also worked on a query letter, but that's still in the closet--no one has seen it either.
What should I be doing while I'm waiting?
Well, I could hire a professional editor to look at it. This is something that I've been reluctant to do (after all, I'm a poor classroom teacher) but I found a great deal that editor Margo Dill is offering, so I'm taking the plunge.
I could work on my elevator blurb. You know, the blurb I'll rattle off when someone asks what my book is about, so I don't just stand there with my mouth simply opening and closing like a fish.
The other thing I could do is read any books that are similar to my manuscript, so if grilled, I could speak with some authority. ("My book and such-and-such book cover the same event, but my book is for middle-grades and _______ is for high school readers.")
What else do you think I should be doing?
- I wrote a NaNoWriMo in 2017 (written alongside my students, like the one the year before) and it's still not finished. I'm worried it's too teachy-preachy and not enough story. I'm fretting over the teacher character, who was important in the early part of the book, but seems to have just vanished. I'm worried that it's boring.
Well, duh. I should finish the first draft. When it's finished, then I can look at the story and history balance, the characters, and check to see if it seems like a compelling plot. Why make problems out of a WIP that's still very much in progress? First drafts are always poopy, after all.
What about you? What are you doing while you're waiting for your multi-million dollar advance? Let me know, and when both of our checks come in the mail, we can go on a cruise together...