Maybe you were one of those lucky few to pitch your book at the conference. Maybe, against all odds and a lot of preparation, an agent or editor requested your full.
It’s time to send in your proposal. There’s a lot of information on blogs across the internet about how to prepare a proposal, but for the most part, follow the directions provided on the agency’s or publisher’s website. Their expectations may differ slightly from someone else’s, so it’s best to make sure you cover your bases.
Once you send in the full, you’re probably in for a wait. Most agents and editors specify a time length from the day you send in your full to when you can expect an answer. These time periods do vary. Sometimes this means they’ll express interest in your piece or send a rejection letter before the end of the designated time. Other agencies and publishers may simply not respond at all. Again, this isn’t personal. They have a lot on their plate, so if you don’t hear anything, it’s time to move forward.
During the intermediate period when you’re waiting to hear back, you can make progress on a second WIP. Start plotting and researching again. There’s several reasons to keep moving.
1. It helps you write. A fairly common known fact is that the writer who writes every day tends to write with more ease than those who procrastinate. You’ll do better long-term if you put your fingers back to the keyboard.
2. What if…? What if the agent or editor does come back and wants to know what else you’re working on? Will you have an answer? Don’t waste time twiddling your fingers; instead, spend it preparing for the future.
3. Move over the hump. Sometimes after a rejection it’s hard to dig back into your writing. If you’ve already started engaging with another piece, it’s much easier to keep moving forward. Rejection can sideline even great writers to the bench. By progressing with another WIP, you’re already preparing your mind to learn from the rejection and grow.
4. Time. Right now you have freedom to explore something new. Once you receive feedback on your proposal, you’ll either move back into editing or forward into new realms and relationships. Either way, your time right now can be used to prepare for the future.
So in the waiting period, rest assured, you still have a job to complete. What’s the premise of your next WIP?