So the manuscript has been written, there’s some down time during the editor selection and review process, all the blog content is set for posting, now what? What do I do? In a word, WRITE! The best way for a writer to improve their craft is to write. Whether you decide to blog or simply write in a private journal, you need to write.
With my “down” time, (as if there actually is any) I choose to write more content. I am focusing on children’s literature, specifically picture books. We are all well aware of how saturated the market is for children’s literature. Therefore, the way I see it, you can never have too many manuscripts. The instant I’m struck with an idea, I write about it; I scrutinize it and perfect it. When it’s time, I have another manuscript to submit for editing — a manuscript in queue if you will. This way, I build up a collection of stories that are awaiting publication which can help limit any hiatus from writing.
Building a collection can be relatively easy to do with picture books, poetry, essays, etc. because these works are all rather short in length. This may not be an option for the novel writer, or one writing memoirs, or non-fiction. But who says you only have to publish one type of book anyway? Instead of limiting myself to just picture books, I choose to also work on a different type of children’s literature. Children’s literature includes chapter books for young readers and young adults. Therefore, I am working on a chapter book as well. This is especially a challenge for me because I’ve never written at such great length about one topic, or a specific set of characters. Overcoming the challenge of writing a novel will be a grand feat for me. It’s what drives me to keep writing. I’m excited about seeing it through to completion. The beauty of it is, since I have “books in queue” I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to get the novel finished now, right now! I really need to take my time with this project because as I progress, I’m finding obstacles that must be considered in the process. But that’s a different discussion all together.
So, what if I’m not writing a novel? Or the one I have written is in review and I don’t have any ideas for the next one? Well, start generating some ideas for the next one! That’s writing. I keep a personal journal in my writing space. This is where I jot down ideas, random thoughts, and inspirations. Whatever strikes me, I’m writing it down. Sometimes these are intimate thoughts (for my eyes only). Sometimes these are ideas that can be developed into a blog entry later, or a future story idea that needs developing.
The point is, as a writer, you should be writing every day. Whether it’s blogging, journaling, or drafting, writers write. Pick up a pen, open the laptop, let the world around you move you to write. When all else fails, it’s pretty simple for a writer . . . Just write!