…an Idiot Author’s Guide to waiting for Editorial comment… from my terrific pal, Authoress, Susan Toy…
10 Ways I pass the time while waiting for my editor to finish editing my novel …
by Susan M. Toy
It took about 12 years to complete a final draft of my second novel, a draft I felt was finally ready to send to my most trusted first reader—my editor.
You’d think after all the time the file has sat in four computers and various memory sticks during all those years, sometimes never seeing the light of day, I’d have embraced patience and would now be willing to allow for whatever further time was necessary to complete the editing process. After all, I know that it does take a great deal of time and concentration to complete the stellar and most thorough job my editor is currently doing.
But, Hey! I’m an author! I constantly seek immediate gratification that any reader can supply my ego when they read whatever it is I’ve written, furthermore proclaiming it to be brilliant! This is especially true when my editor reads my writing. And no pressure meant here for you, Rachel Small … If you don’t enjoy it, I promise not to slit my wrists. J
As I say, I’m an author and, just like most other authors, I write for readers who I hope will love my stories. Or, at least, enjoy them.
I’ve learned over the years to not release my writing into the wild until it’s good and ready. I’m not in a rush to publish anything. But that doesn’t mean I’m not anxious to hear back from my first and most-important reader!
So to while away the time as I tap-tap-tap wait for the edit to be completed, I’ve discovered many ways, 10 actually, in which I can waste be productive and take my mind off that precious manuscript. I offer them here now as possibilities, in case you find yourself in this same situation of playing the Waiting Game … (Oh, by the way, you are getting a professional edit done on your own manuscript, right? Okay, just checking.)
I mowed my lawn at the trailer. Not a big deal for most people, but I’m not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination, and I live next to a bunch of over-achieving weekend lawn mowers who always make my lawn look like an abandoned corner lot, the only things missing being a couple of wrecked cars and a broken window on the trailer replaced by a piece of cardboard. Plus gardening is akin to housecleaning—I only do it when absolutely necessary. Another Page – Lawn mowers and Jimmy Stewart
I’ve begun filing and resorting everything stored on memory sticks—Do you have any idea how much “stuff” I’ve downloaded and kept over the years?? Again, filing is not my strong suit and is generally right up there along with gardening and housecleaning as activities I’d rather not be doing at any time. Still, good busywork while I’m waiting.
I’ve been reading through recipes that were clipped from magazines, downloaded, or are in the few cookbooks I have here at the trailer, looking for those perfect meals to experiment with and cook for myself. (Trying to eat healthy and refrain from binging on popcorn and ice cream, which I would normally turn to for comfort while waiting.)
While filing (see #2) I’ve earmarked certain story files and sorted them into “complete and final” or “needs editing” and am amazed to discover just how much I’ve actually written over the years. Some of it may even be good. (Although that second category is proving to be a much bigger file than the first.)
I’ve re-edited two of the short stories I’d written earlier and am now casting around for homes for both. I’ve discovered a contest that accepts published work so I’ll be entering one of my earlier stories in that. As well, I’ve begun working on an edit Rachel completed for me some time ago on a novella, but I had to set it aside to finish that second novel. I’ll need to decide whether this novella will become my next IslandShorts publication.
Since I’m trying very hard not to think at all of possible changes to the novel Rachel is currently editing (although there have been a couple that came to mind and she has now incorporated them into her copy), I’m considering instead how I might change the stories and characters in the two novels that follow this one in the Bequia Perspectives series. (Yes, they were both largely written many years ago and have been languishing on computers and memory sticks almost as long as this current novel.)
7) Publishing Other Authors
For some time now I’ve been working with other authors who I will publish under my IslandShorts and IslandCatEditions imprints. So there’s been a lot of initial editing to do for them in preparation for a professional edit, and organizing formatting, designing, ePublishing and listing for sale, as well as promoting have been going on in and around my computer these past couple of months.
Even though the edit is not yet finished on my own novel, it’s not too early to begin promotion. I started that as soon as I sent the MS to Rachel (with a guest post on Kristina Stanley’s Mystery Mondays and the post, A small request of all my readers, on my own blog …) But I’ve also been thinking ahead by asking two friends who well know the setting of Bequia to beta read for me. (Dennis has read the MS, but he doesn’t count, except as a ballistics and demolition expert … although he did declare it to be totally brilliant. That man knows which side his bread is buttered on!) As well, I’m compiling a list of readers who may offer to write blurbs for the book for future promotion. I’m organizing writing other Guest Posts (see #10) and announcements on my own blog leading up to publication. I’m redesigning my website (Thanks, Kevin Brennan!) and reorganizing my blogs.
I’ve discovered a couple of writing contests to enter. While I had stopped entering my writing into anything a long time ago, I figured that, in this case, nothing ventured. It’s all part of promoting myself and, if I win either of these then that will be icing on my cake!
And I’m forever thinking, thinking, thinking of new methods to develop for promoting not only me and my writing but also promotion to benefit all my author friends and their writing.
Plus I continue promoting other authors through my Reading Recommendations blog.
Kind of self-explanatory, huh? But I’m still shocked by the number of writers who don’t read books regularly, let alone while they’re writing or waiting for their editor to finish an edit. This is a great time to remove yourself from the worries of your manuscript and just lose your mind in a good book. (While I read I also listen to great music. That’s a given for me.)
10) Writing Guest Blogs
This partly goes along with #8 in that I write guest posts to help promote my own writing. But it’s also a way to keep writing and encourage those creative juices to continue flowing … as well as being a constructive means of killing time while I wait for my editor to finish her edit. Plus I’m creating content for my host blogger to post. Everybody wins!
In fact, this Guest Blog Post I’ve written for Seumas came about as a result of #1. Yes, I composed most of this post in my head while I mowed the lawn. You just never can tell where any of this seemingly non-related busy-work activity is going to lead while you’re waiting for something to happen …
** I’m very pleased to report I have received a preliminary email from Rachel and she said, “Just wanted to touch base to say I’m eagerly devouring your story, and immensely enjoying the editing process.” This news certainly helps make the remaining time I have left to wait that much easier to bear!
Here’s a lovely musical interlude that goes along with our theme today of waiting …
Susan M. Toy is the author of Island in the Clouds, the first novel in the Bequia Perspectives series, and That Last Summer, a novella. If all goes as planned, she hopes to be announcing the ePublication of One Woman’s Island before Sept. She’s currently cooling her heels at a trailer park in southwestern Ontario, close to the eastern shore of Lake Huron. About Susan M. Toy
Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing, And, for good measure, a bit of Cooking and Eating
A blog dedicated to promoting other authors and their books:
ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!