One of the biggest downfalls of authors is how much they have to wait. If you send in a query letter to an agent or publisher, you have to wait. If you have someone proof read your manuscript, you have to wait. If you send an email, asking an author to give you some advice, you have to wait.

Waiting can be a killer for authors. In fact, waiting can destroy your hopes and dreams. You have time to think about where you are and what you have been doing. You begin to second guess choices you have made in the past. You consider the future and wonder if the day will ever come when you join the 5% of authors who make enough money to support their family.

No matter what stage you are in as an author, waiting is part of the job. If you try to shorten that wait, meaning you become impatient, then you will be doomed.

For example, if you send in a query letter to an agent and two weeks later email them with the question, “What is taking so long?” you are doomed. The average response time for an agent or publisher is 90 days, but some can take longer.

It can drive an author over the edge.

What can you do to pass the time? My advice is to stick with the original plan. I have told you over and over the four keys to having a career as an author: 1. Read, 2. Write, 3. Market, 4. Publish. While you wait, keep the daily routine. (Instead of pacing around the house like a maniac.)

Read everyday. If your wait is three months, then you can finish three to five books during that time. It will keep your mind occupied and build your skill as an author.

Write everyday. Start that new novel and get your mind off the one you just finished. Write your blog. Write emails to friends you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Write an article and send it into a local newspaper or magazine.

Market everyday. Continue to network, promote yourself, and build your fan base. 

Publishing research. Find out the latest trends in your genre. Look for other agents and publishers. Be ready, just in case.

Do not sit on your hands. Keep moving forward, because if you spend your time waiting, you will feel lost, depressed, and stagnant. If you receive a rejection letter, the time you spent waiting won’t seem like a “waist of time.” You will be ready for the next agent or publisher. You will have improved yourself over the last three months.

Most of all, I don’t want you to worry. (I say this with a tear in my eye, because I know how much authors worry about the future. It’s a tough job…very tough.) I am a spiritual man and believe God has given you a gift. No way does God wish for that gift to be wasted.

The best reason not to worry is this:

Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

-Matthew 6:27 (NRSV)

Ron Knight


Literary Manager, Melissa Link of Brand Eleven-Eleven 

Ron Knight

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