With Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness behind us, some may be wondering what now? Well, there’s always Peter Knapp’s manuscript critique contest (seriously, check it out). But more than that, it’s important to keep writing. From one of my favorites, Ray Bradbury:
You fail only if you stop writing.
Maybe you need to take a break, try something different, or reassess your goals. Maybe you write a few short stories, a novella, or the sequel to your current WIP. Whatever you choose to do, keep on writing. Even if you have your book in for consideration with agencies, keep on writing.
My personal advice, is look into contests. A lot of the biggies seem to culminate April/May, although they are all over the place with different deadlines. It’s always nice to rack up some writing creds for the query, especially since requests from agents usually means a lot of waiting in the meantime. Besides, I found it really helpful for SHADE to put it away for a few weeks and write something else so I could come back at it with fresh eyes.
During the fall, I had a goal to read all 200 available Anton Chekhov short stories. I only made it to 50, but it certainly helped me figure out rhythm when it came to writing short stories. So something else you can do in the meantime is study the genre you want to write. In other words, READ, READ, READ. And then read some more in a different genre, just to shake it up.
But always, always, keep on writing.
How about you? What do you do when it’s time to take a break from the novel? Any upcoming contests for you?