Anybody who’s submitted their work to hopefully be published knows how difficult the waiting period can be. This is difficult when you’re waiting for a magazine to pick up your work, but even more crushing when waiting to find out if your book will sell. Finishing a manuscript and finding representation is difficult enough; twiddling your thumbs until your book gets picked up is a new level of pressure.
Find a Distraction
Get involved in something else in order to break your, “Has my book sold yet?” obsession. When you have a deadline, it’s important to focus on the task at hand, which means you won’t be focusing on the lack of e-mails in your inbox. Ideally, find a job where you’re writing for someone else. It’s important to get away from your own writing for a while, especially when that’s the thing that’s taking up most of your mental energy.
Step Away From the Manuscript
Revising your manuscript is fine, but not when the revisions stem from a place of under confidence. When you’re already upset that your book isn’t selling, you don’t have the right perspective to make thoughtful, positive changes to your work. Get some distance and return to your manuscript when you’re no longer dwelling on rejection.
Get Support From Other Writers
Whether you know other writers or you get involved in community forums, share your doubts, concerns, and feelings with other people who have been in your shoes. At the same time, read great work to get inspired and to more finely tune your own voice. Remember, even if you’re feeling down, it’s important to be genuinely glad for other people’s successes. You also may discover a new direction in which to take your manuscript or you may decide that your manuscript is fantastic as is.
Sometimes, failure is the best thing that can happen to a writer. By figuring out what you did wrong, you can fix your mistakes in the future. Is it better to publish a book that fails or to not have the manuscript published in the first place? Remember, most great writers were rejected at some point in their career!