the smartest thing you can do after you hit “send”


You poured your very self, spleen and all, into your manuscript and you’ve sent it off to an editor. Now what? Well, while you wait for a verdict, there are any number of things you could do . . .

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

A Half Dozen Ways to Go Way Wrong While You Wait

1. Revise the manuscript you just submitted–either on-screen or in-brain. The deed is done (for now). Let it rest already.

2. Eat your weight in _____________. Even if it’s kale, uh, still not a gold-star idea.

3. Whine about the editor’s perceived lack of speed on Facebook/Twitter/And So On. These things take time. You know this. You are a marathon runner, not a sprinter. The same is true for editors. Now, do some stretches and drink your vitamin-infused water, Sweet Knees. Go to your Zenny place. That’s it. Breathe. Good.

4. Follow up too soon. You just planted a, oh, let’s call it a pumpkin seed. It will sprout. Trust the process. Fretting, pestering and pacing won’t help. An answer will come, maybe not the one that you want, but it will come (most likely).

5. Check your email 24/7 (a tactic formerly known as Stalking the Mail Carrier).

6. Drive your friends, family, sweetheart, coworkers and critique group bonkers. These are your A team, the folks who will celebrate with you or console you. Do not suck them into your swirling chartreuse vortex of neuroses any more than necessary, or at least evenly distribute your crazy, not unlike chocolate curls on a cupcake. See how pretty?

One and a Half Ways to Spend Your Wait Time Wisely

Jump into something new. Or revisit something old, perhaps a manuscript you were allowing to cool a bit. Can’t stomach the idea of actually writing another novel right now? That’s okay. Write an article. Pen a poem. Do research for your next novel. Interview your new characters. Piece together an outline or road map or even a grocery list of scenes or ideas for your next project. Keep moving.

Reward yourself. Do you know how many well-intentioned, would-be authors are out there with half-scripts fermenting in a folder? Neither do I. But the point is, you finished an entire manuscript. Then you had the audacity to send it to a real editor. What are you, a freak of nature? A Titan? That’s amazing. Reward yourself in a meaningful way. Yes, yes, I’m giving you permission. Why are you still reading? Shoo. Go celebrate you!

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. ~ A.A. Milne

11 responses »

  1. Just when I was starting to like kale…

    I’ve tried to get out of the habit of checking my email 24/7 but I can’t break it. Congrats on sending out your book. Good luck on your submissions!


    • Thank you, Lauri. I do have a garden. The photo is of last summer’s lilies. I can’t wait to see them again. Right now my flower beds are waking up with tulips, blue vinca and lily of the valley, but things will really start hopping over the next month or so–peonies, bleeding heart, flocks, ferns, allium, lilies, hosta, wisteria, clemetis . . . can’t wait! I am strictly an amateur gardener and photographer, but growing pretty things and sharing them is fun for me. I’m glad you’re enjoying them too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for your wonderful blog. You finished the entire alphabet of books!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I thought it would be easy to come up with picture book characters for every letter, but it was really tough. I guess that’s why it’s a challenge. 🙂
        I very much enjoy your flower pics. I was a floral designer for ten years before becoming a library assistant and a writer. I miss being around the flowers.


  2. So what you’re saying is, consuming the entire bag of celebratory chocolate I keep in my desk drawer for just such occasions in one sitting is probably not the best idea? So glad you told me! Closing the drawer now! LOL! But seriously, this is some great advice, and not just because sitting around pulling out your hair and chewing your nails to the nub while waiting is not healthy (or attractive)!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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