So you finished your novel! That’s great news! Congratulations! It can be a great joy to finish. There’s also this sadness too, for me at least. If you’ve written a novel and finished and edited and polished and have it out on submission, now what do you do? The best thing to do is write another novel while you’re waiting. But that can be extremely difficult. You might still be attached to your last novel. Or you might not have ideas to write a new one. Whatever the case, it sucks, I know, because that’s where I’m at right now. But there are many other things you can do in the meantime
You can write in your blog or research agents and or publishers. Don’t just wait around for responses. It will do you no good. I know this because it happens to me all the time. I have to force myself to do other things. And when I do, naturally I feel better.
I think the biggest problem I have is not having a clear direction. When you don’t have an agent or editor cheering you on or asking for rewrites or telling you what direction to go in, you have to direct yourself. When you’re a writer, there are a lot of things you have to do on your own. It can be really lonely. But it can also be very rewarding too.
So let’s talk more about the things you can do in between your novels. Again, as I said, you can update your blog. You can research agents and publishers. You can switch gears in your writing and write a different genre or category—from adult to young adult and so on. Another big part of being a writer is reading. You can take this time and catch up on reading a novel or two, or several. Go at the pace you are most comfortable at doing. Writing in a journal and writing short stories and poems is also another great avenue to try. Just remember if you write a short story or poem, you can submit it to magazines and possibly promote your platform that way too.
Just because you might not be writing at the moment, doesn’t mean you’re not a writer. There are plenty other writerly things you can do. And when you are ready to start the next novel, you’ll not only have another finished novel on your hands, you’ll have another novel to query with—in case the previous one doesn’t work out. Sometimes it takes several novels to get that deal you’ve been dreaming of. Even when you want to quit, DON’T! Just keep trying. If you keep trying, you’re bound to succeed.