Few professions require as much patience as that of the writer. We wait weeks and months—sometimes years—for replies to our query letters. Then we wait weeks and months—sometimes years—for replies to our submissions. If we are blessed enough to receive an acceptance, then we wait another year or two—or three—before our work appears in print. During this time of waiting, our attitude makes a big difference in whether or not we continue as writers.
What is a writer to do to avoid discouragement during the long waiting period? Here are a few tips that have helped me:
1) Get started on your next project right away. Don’t wait until you receive a reply on the project you just submitted. That would be foolish, since you will be wasting a long time.
2) Set a goal to send out a certain number of queries per week or per day. The more queries you send out, the greater your changes of receiving positive replies. The greater the number of positive replies, the greater your changes for publication.
3) Set a certain number of words to write each day and write them. Even if you can write only one hundred words per day, do so. You will be amazed at how quickly the words add up.
4) Develop a continuing education program for yourself. The more you learn about the art and craft of writing, the more you will create works that reflect excellence and expertise.
5) Do all you can to help other writers succeed. As you get your eyes off ourselves and on to others, you will discover that the time passes quickly. Before you know it, while you are busy helping another writer succeed, you will find an acceptance letter in your mailbox. What goes around comes around.
Now it’s your turn. How do you avoid discouragement during the long waiting period between submission and response?
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