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Biding Your Time

Novels in a Polish bookstore
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Biding Your Time

Traci Kenworth


One skill I’m learning is to keep your attention focused on something other than those requests still out, the query letters you’ve sent. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s downright hard to focus on anything but your email all day long, but you must. There’s no way around it. You can’t pin your hopes on one book. There has to be more waiting in the wings. So while you’re waiting, dig into research for the next wip, draw up your outline/character sketches/story notes, or simply—begin.

Right now, I’m editing one and writing another. It’s a bit of a challenge and one might eventually win out over the other but I’m keeping my thoughts on my stories and not on news from agents. It’s imperative that you write that next book and the one after that. Keep going. This is why: with every book you grow. If the current one doesn’t work out, there’s the chance its successor will.

It’s also important to have an answer to the question the agent may ask: what else do you have for me? If you haven’t started anything, you’re going to be scrambling to come up with something and if you’re in a hurry, you might rush the book and it could fail to win its audience. Make sure you’re always studying, always preparing yourself, always writing. It’ll make that response so much sweeter to say, “Well I have a YA fantasy in the works about a—”

And if it’s finished, so much the better.

You’ll show push, you’ll show ambition, you’ll show that the agent can count on you to deliver a product consistently. No one-book wonders. This is for hopefully a long, successful career. Most authors don’t start solidifying their audience till after the fifth book, they say. If that’s true, you have work to do to reach that goal. And after that one, others. Never stop working, never stop reaching, and you’ll get there to the top.



I write YA as Traci Kenworth. I also write romance as Loleta Abi.

18 thoughts on “Biding Your Time

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I have three books going right now. They are all related to each other and are the 3 books in the trilogy, but, they are all coming together. One is complete – except for the continuous editing. 🙂

    I also have non-fiction pieces I’m working on, too, and sending out to contests and such. Writers have to keep reinventing themselves. They have to keep writing. If it becomes a chore, then maybe writing isn’t the best profession. Writing has to be a passion. A love. At least, that’s how I look at it.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!! Editing can be draining–but it can also be enjoyable. Everything starts to gel together and things can be corrected that need to be. It’s in the editing stages I find myself discovering the true frame of the book and fleshing it out. I couldn’t agree more that writing has to be something you love. I don’t see how anyone can torture themselves doing this, it’s just such glory in the discovery. Good luck on your work!!


  2. Absolutely! I sat in on several agent talks at the SCBWI conference and they all said that they’re looking for career writers. They don’t want to invest time in an author unless the author plans on investing time in their own career, which means multiple books.

    One writer in the audience asked one agent “what do when I keep getting rejections?” and without pausing the agent answered “write your next book!”


  3. This is great advice. Having something different to work on while I wait to hear back on queries is a must for my sanity.My NaNoWriMo novel is about to take center stage since it is waiting for a good edit. I’m looking forward to fleshing out a new world and spending time with some different characters. Best wishes with your edits and your new WIP. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Traci.


    1. Your welcome, Celesta!! Thanks for stopping here too. It is SO important to keep yourself distracted from your email box. Good luck on your Nano novel. Mine from 2009 is out in submissions now.


  4. Definitely a writer has to be ready for that, “what else do you have?” question. And busy is good. I am so freaking busy there is no time to think about what will happen my my project on sub lol!


  5. You’re right of course. Waiting is hard and the only thing sweeter is writing. Since it is so hard making that author platform in the first place, you may as well set up for your other books.

    Hi from the campaign. 🙂


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