Getting Down to the Business of Writing

After you write the book, query until your fingers bleed, and finally land an agent, there is a distinct lull in the action when you stare into space and wonder if you imagined it all. Then, reality steps in with a swift backhand to yank you out of that self-satisfied gloat you’ve been living in for three days.

YOUR book is going to be submitted to people who will hopefully want to produce it. What once was a passion is now an occupation! Whoa! When did this happen!

With my first YA Contemporary novel, High Vices, on submission, I have embraced the next step. Not only am I working on book number 2, but I am also cultivating new ideas for the next manuscript and the one after that. We all started writing for our own reasons. But once the opportunity to write for others presents itself, it’s time to push that passion into overdrive and dive headfirst into what was once only a dream.

How do you do that? How can you be prepared for that moment when writing becomes more than you imagined it could be?

  1. Have other ideas on the back burner. We all have multiple story ideas. Take the next one and start to flesh it out, even if it’s just an outline.
  2. READ. READ. READ! In your genre, other genres, fiction, non-fiction, poetry. Read with a critical eye asking yourself how the author wrote and why they chose the words they did.
  3. Give yourself time to be. That means shut the computer off. Your best ideas come from a relaxed imagination. Don’t apply added pressure to produce.

If you want a career as a writer, you need to go get it–and when you get it, full steam ahead.

Keep writing.


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