Monday, January 30, 2012

You've written a book, now what?

It's the topic of the last panel I will be discussing at the LTUE Feb. 10.

And it's a relevant topic for me, personally.

Only, if I were to revise that sentence to include all my writing situations right now, it would sound something like this...

You've written three books that aren't yet published, you've lost your agent, you've got a full manuscript out with an agent AND an editor.... now what?

Now what indeed.

What I'm actually doing is slowly writing another book. I say slowly because I've never gone at such a pathetic pace before. Instead of writing like wildfire ready to devour the forest, I'm sort of picking away at it one page at a time.

It may or may not end up being a great story. I'm not sure. I just know that in the middle of all this waiting, I just haven't had the same urge to write.

And I feel like I have the last book of the Alvor series looming over me. I want to write it, but I'm not entirely convinced my publisher will step up to the plate like I need them to. I know, for some of you that seems like a lame excuse. For others, you may not know what I'm talking about. Since this isn't my complain blog, I won't get into it. But it's the conflict that has kept me from writing that last book.

So now what? I'd say in terms of furthering my career, I've sort of done what I need to. Waiting is part of the book industry, after all. Probably the worst part.

If I could give myself advice, I'd say, "Keep writing, Laura. Sooner or later you'll either have an answer, or another book on your hands. And whether you land an agent this time, or secure a contract with a publisher and then land an agent, the best thing you can do today is write. It's the only thing you have control over."

Today. It really is the only thing we can do anything about.

I know I didn't answer the big question- You've written a book, now what?

The short answer to that is: edit like crazy, write a killer query letter, send it out to agents or publishers and then cross your fingers and hope. And wait. And while you're waiting, write something. It's a vicious cycle. Write-send it out- wait- write.


MKHutchins said...

I have some things waiting on desks, too...and I'm pretty much trying to pretend they don't exist and write another book. I'm mostly succeeding (the keeping writing part's going great; the not-thinking-about-what-could-happen part is hard). Good luck to you!

Laura said...

Good Luck!

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, yes. I've felt this. There's something about waiting that sucks the hope and joy out of writing something new. It's like, "Why try? This might not get picked up, so maybe I'm not good." Or "Why try? This might get picked up and then I'll need to focus on it."

It's a lose/lose. I'd say keep trying, but sometimes it is nice to just step away from everything and come back fresh.

No matter what, good luck!

Laura said...

:) Thanks. And yes, it's both of those things- but that's a writer's life until there's some sort of sure future.

L.T. Elliot said...

*Sigh* This is so true. Right now, it's feels discouraging to me but I'm still plowing through. Maybe someday...

Looking forward to seeing you at LTUE!

Laura said...

Someday may be closer than you think. And I am sooooo excited for the LTUE! See you NEXT week!