Friday, January 7, 2011

How The Waiting Game Is Like The Dating Game

In 1965, ABC aired a new television show, The Dating Game, in which a bachelor asks contestants questions, in the hopes that they might make a love connection by the end of the show. Well, submitting is a lot like The Dating Game. A desperate author (bachelor/bachelorette) submits his or her manuscript (questions) to some litery agents & publishers (contestants). And then-based on his/her answers (ms)-there may be a love connection(deal) made.

Right now, I am in the throws of a slightly different version of the game, The Waiting Game. All the same rules apply as in The Dating Game, of course. But rather than making an instant match, I must wait...And wait....And wait some more. You get the picture.

So it got me thinking. What am I going to do while I am waiting to hear my story's fate?

Below are 3 things that writing experts around the world do, when they are waiting to find out if their current projects are going to be accepted or rejected.

1. Keep Writing. Just like anything else in life, practice makes perfect. If you want to become the best author that you can be, you're going to have to excercise your writing muscles. Great writers aren't just born, to spite what some authors have said interviews. I've never seen a child come out of the womb writing. It is a learned skill. And it takes years and years of practice to be great at it. So if you want to be a great author one day, you need to keep writing.

Now that's not to say that your first story can't become an over-night success. Because you hear of that happening all the time. I'm simply saying that at some point in the successful writer's life, they attended writing classes(even in early childhood), read books, had an active imagination, and made up stories.

Not to mention, writing more stories will keep your mind occupied, and give you something to submit later on.

2. Attend a writing class or conference.This will be helpful for two reasons: 1. It will help you improve your writing skills 2. You will make connections with people who are also interested in writing. And honestly, there's a lot of value in that.

Sometimes even great writers don't get noticed because they haven't made the right connections. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting that one lucky break from someone in the business. And going to these kinds of events, can help get you that break.

3. Blog, Tweet, FB, and join some type of social media for writers. This is another way to practice your writing skills, and make connections with people like you. I know that I've made some lifelong friends since I started blogging and tweeting. And who's to say that they might not mention my name, once they get their own publishing deals in the works.

Stranger things have happened. Why J.K Rowling, herself, may not have gotten her big break, if it hadn't been for a secretary who fell in love with her first story. And the rest-as they say-is publishing history.

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