Monday, January 4, 2021

Get Busy on Your Waiting (Writing) List

Edie here. I'm super excited to introduce you to our newest TWC monthly contributor, Kristen Hogrefe Parnell. I'm a super-fan of her books and so excited to have her sharing her insight and wisdom here in our community! Be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!


Get Busy on Your Waiting (Writing) List
by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @KHogrefeParnell

For something we writers have to do so often, we aren’t very good at it. Waiting, that is.

The other evening, I was talking to my husband James. Okay, I’ll be honest. I was complaining about one of my projects that is still publishing-house homeless.

James paused for a second and then said, “Babe, I wish I didn’t have to wait so long to meet you, but I’m glad I did.”

In that moment, I was both convicted and charmed. You see, my husband and I were in our thirties when we met and got married. We never imagined we’d have to wait so long to find each other, but we are so thankful we did.

Right then, I found the perspective I needed to go back to waiting in my writing career some more. Wherever we are in our writing journeys, we’ll always find something that requires waiting. Maybe you’re waiting to hear back from an agent you hope might represent you or from an editor who expressed interest in your project. 

The key is that waiting is not a passive activity. It’s very much active. 

Think of the waiter at your favorite restaurant. He isn’t twiddling his thumbs or slowly sipping hot cocoa in a corner. No, sir! He hurries from table to table, smiling, getting to know guests, making sure they are comfortable, and keeping tabs on their orders.

Likewise, we writers can be productive in the waiting. 

Here are just a few suggestions:

1. When is the last time you reviewed your website? Does it need a facelift? Do you have missing images or broken links? Make sure your site is inviting and relevant to your audience and message.

2. Where can you best serve your audience in the meantime? Do you blog regularly or have a podcast? Can you reach out to be a guest on a podcast or write articles for a website that shares your same passion?

3. Do you have a consistent brand across your social media accounts? Are you consistently posting?

4. What is a project you would love to do if you had time? Guess what. You’ll never have as much time as you do prior to signing a contract with an agent or publisher.

The bottom line is that we can find opportunities in the waiting. What suggestion would you add to the “waiting” list? It’s time to get busy.

TWEETABLE

Kristen Hogrefe Parnell is an award-winning author and life-long learner. An educator and mentor at heart, she teaches English online and is an inspirational speaker for schools, churches, and podcasts. Her young adult dystopian novels, The Revisionary and The Reactionary, both won the Selah for speculative fiction, and she is working on several new projects, including a romantic suspense novel. Kristen and her husband live in Florida and enjoy sharing their lake home with family and friends. She blogs at KristenHogrefeParnell.com where she challenges readers to find faith in life’s everyday adventures.

28 comments:

  1. Thank you for this fruitful perspective, Kristen, and for pointing us to a restaurant waiter.
    What a perfect image.
    Blessings,
    Ann Westerman

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    1. It's my pleasure, Ann! I'm glad you found that image helpful. Blessings to you in your writing! ~ Kristen

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  2. Kristen,

    What a wonderful pro-active article for writers. Yes we need to keep moving forward while we wait--an important lesson--and valuable reminder for even someone like me who has been in publishing for decades. Such activities are a regular part of my routine as I wait for answers. I'm glad you will be returning here on a regular basis.

    Terry
    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Terry! I like the idea of considering these activities "routine," because no matter where we are in our journeys, we all have to practice waiting at some point. I'm excited to be here! ~ Kristen

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  3. Great post on making even the waiting a productive part of the writing job! Welcome to the team!!

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    1. Thank you, Tammy! I appreciate the warm welcome!! ~ Kristen

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  4. Kristen, welcome aboard! And I commiserate with you. I had a very long wait before getting a publishing contract. It was over 13 years between when I started writing and my first book hit the shelves. But it was a wonderful journey, where I met a lot of lifelong friends. And I also kept writing, so when I landed a contract, I had 3 books ready to go. So keep writing and enjoy the journey!

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    1. Thank you so much! You're so right that the journey is wonderful. Blessings to you in you writing!

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  5. Welcome to The Write Conversation, Kristen. I can certainly identify with the "waiting" you mention, but in the long run and faith in God, it "happens." Thanks for your wonderful article.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I'm so glad to be here and to be in such good company. :)

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  6. Welcome, Kristen! As a vet, we got used to the phrase, "Hurry up and wait." It's a part of most professions, of most endeavors, of growing up, of traveling down any path. It has always bugged me to be around someone who was boring or bored. I honestly cannot remember ever being bored in my 78 years on this earth. I suppose we've all heard of the 3 kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, & those who wonder what happened. Life's just too short and too fascinating to let ourselves fall into that third category. Thanks for the great post.
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful response, Jay! Life is certainly not boring, and I definitely want to be in the category of doers. Blessings to you!

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  7. Excellent article, Kristen. Welcome to the blog!

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  8. Happy New Year, Kristen, and welcome!

    Waiting can be very difficult, especially for those of us who are patience-challenged. But we work in God's time frame, not our own. Thank you for the good suggestions for staying focused and moving forward.

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  9. Thank you, Kay! Yes, God's time frame, not our own, is so much better. Blessings to you!

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  10. Welcome, Kristen! Your first suggestion thumped me between the eyes. My blog needs a makeover, I just keep putting it off. The spend most of my time on FB. The have a better readership there than I do my blog. If I put a teaser and a link to the piece in my blog, they don’t click and go over to read it t. Not sure why I even have the website. I need to work on developing traffic to my website I guess.

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    1. Hi, Marsha! I'm so glad you found that idea helpful and wish you all the best with your blog.

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  11. Welcome Kristen! Thank you for this great message.

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  12. Welcome Kristen. Such a great message. I waited till I was 40 to meet my best friend husband..and yes I would have loved to been with him before that...but you are right...and what a great way of thinking about waiting. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for the welcome, Lisa! Oh, I love that you waited and found each other at God's right time for you. Blessings to you both!

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  13. Welcome aboard, Kristen. It looks like you're giving us some great suggestions. I enjoyed your post today; thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Roberta! So glad you found the suggestions helpful!

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  14. Welcome to The Write Conversation! Thank you for your wise perspective on waiting. Timely advice. Blessings to you.

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  15. Welcome to The Write Conversation! Thank you for your wise perspective on waiting. Timely advice. Blessings to you.

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    1. Hi Deena, thank you for the welcome! It's my pleasure to share. Blessings to you as well!

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  16. Welcome to the blog and thank you for a helpful post about how we can use our waiting time!

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