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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Make Each Grain Count

When a writer is on submission, be it to agents or editors, each passing day can feel like a grain of sand that slips away. It is easy to get discouraged when days, weeks, and sometimes even months start ticking off. We understand that the grains~or moments~are precious but often we end up putting off any more writing and just waiting. All too often I hear writers say they are going to submit and see where that one goes before they move on and write anything else. If you want to make a career out of writing, that could quite possibly be the worst thing you could do.

Make every grain count. Start researching, brainstorming, and outlining for your next novel or project. Don't have any ideas? Read everything in your genre that is hot. Read some of the novels that aren't. Read outside your genre! Allow yourself to be open to inspiration of any and all kind.

Once you have your novel idea and are ready to start, set goals. Don't allow yourself to be aimless just because you're on submission. If you can get into a routine and discipline yourself to write every day then you'll be better prepared for getting an agent, a publishing contract, and making your deadlines. Besides, you'll feel better knowing you have new words almost every day. It will feel like you're moving forward, and you are. Prepare for success and you will reach it!

24 comments:

  1. This is so true. You never know what book might be the one, and if you don't keep writing you may never find out. And the more you write the better a writer you will become. Thanks, Heather!

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  2. You're welcome Paul, and thank you! Those are very wise words!

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  3. Such good advice! I'm dying watching the grains of sand drop, and if I didn't have a new wip to work on I'd go crazy. I also read a bunch of non-YA novels after sticking with that genre for so long. It was good therapy.

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  4. I know what you mean Elle! That work in progress helps keep me sane and productive! I'm about to read an adult paranormal and I'm excited because it's been a while since I read outside my genre. You're right, good therapy!

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  5. This is a great advice Heather. It also keeps your mind busy during the submission process -- which is really out of your control.

    You've done your part with writing the book so go ahead and start up writing another one.

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  6. Thanks Karen! It really does help. Plus that way I keep improving my craft. I'm hard at work on the next one already!

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  7. This is truly great advice, Heather - advice I need to heed right now! :-)

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  8. Sounds like we're in the same boat Shannon! Don't worry we'll help each other out.

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  9. So well put. Those precious moments do just slip away if we let them, and there's something so poignant about that. I'm so ready to get to my next book, now, you've just inspired me to do whatever it takes to finish up my current project. Thanks.

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  10. That's excellent that I've inspired you to finish, but I knew you'd get there soon anyway. ;-) Of course I am anxious for you to start your next novel so we can write our historicals together!

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  11. Excellent and wise advice! (((hugs)))

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  12. Excellent advice Heather. (*shouts to the masses*) Listen to this lady! She knows what she's talking about!

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  13. Aw, thanks Lydia! I'm very flattered, especially coming from someone I have so much respect for. :)

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  14. More excellent advice Heather. I too am making every grain count. Is there anyway to get more grains into our glass?

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  15. That's a great idea Karlene! If only I could figure out how to open the darn thing...

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  16. Great advice! Moving on and writing something else is a really good way to deal with the stress and anticipation of waiting - not to mention help you improve as a writer.

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  17. I'm always working on something. I like to stay busy and keep my nerves at bay.

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  18. True Talli. I've improved so much because I kept writing after I finished that first novel years ago. I can't imagine what my writing would be like if I had just stopped!

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  19. It does help ease the nerves doesn't it Medeia?! I'd be a wreck if I didn't keep writing!

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  20. Great advice, Heather!! Man, if I didn't keep writing, I don't know if I'd have any hair left!!! It can be a long wait. But the time does move faster when you are occupied with something you are passionate about.

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  21. Heather I loved this. Often times we just feel bad for ourselves, want to pout, but it's important to remember you should still be working on things. The next best thing could give you the dream!

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  22. LOL! Me too Lisa. We'd both be bald. You're right, time does move faster when you're busy. And moving time along while on submission is a good thing!

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  23. Great point Jen. Writing another novel is a much better use of our time than feeling bad for ourselves! Which can happen if we remain static.

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