By Kariss Lynch
Right about now, many of you are chugging coffee, staying up late, and stressing out over your post-conference checklist. Many of you may have met new writing partners or received requests from agents and editors. And some of you are madly googling “How to Write a Proposal” or considering rewriting your entire manuscript because it no longer feels good enough.
Oh friend, I’ve been there. And I have one hard-learned piece of advice: breathe and take it one step at a time. There are a few things that will help lower the stress and help you tackle that checklist.
- Realize God is in control.
That agent, editor, critique partner…they do NOT hold your future in their hands. God does. They may be a partner in the process. But they are not in control. Your job is to do your absolute best with whatever content you are working on. Meet your deadlines. Be diligent yet gracious in your follow-up. But remember who is writing every part of your story, who gave you your writing dreams, and who orchestrates them.
- Industry professionals are people, too.
On the other end of your email is a person who is receiving a lot of email from a lot of writers who are hanging their hopes on a response. Treat them like a human being with families, lives, burdens, dreams, etc. Have patience. Be relational. Customize your email and your cover letter to their guidelines (often found on their website).
- You don’t have to rush to finish.
I’ve stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish a submission or multiple submissions. I’ve operated with the mentality that if I don’t finish it immediately, I’m going to miss my shot. Now would be the time to reference number one again: God is in control. And while you ALWAYS want to be a person who meets your deadlines in this industry, spend the time to make sure you turn in something that is your best. Not perfect. Your best. If lack of sleep is going to make you miss edits, go to bed, reread with fresh eyes in the morning, and then hit send.
Conferences can create a sweet high and an inevitable crash once you arrive back home and the checklist is accomplished. Enjoy the process. Conference is a blessing. Networking and relationships are blessings. Requests for your manuscript, sample chapters, or proposals are blessings. Breathe. Do your best. Hit send. And trust the Lord. He gave you your gift and knows every scene of the story He is writing. You’ve got this. But better yet, He’s got this.
Tackling that post-conference checklist? Try these tips to avoid stress. @Kariss_Lynch #ACFWBlogs #amwriting #writing #writetips
Kariss Lynch writes contemporary romance with suspense about characters with big dreams, adventurous hearts, and enduring hope. She is the author of the Heart of a Warrior series. In her free time, she hangs out with her family and friends, explores the great outdoors, and tries not to plot five stories at once.