author, creative writing, writing

5 Useful Things To Do While You’re Waiting to Hear Back From Agents

Morning writers, I hope you’ve had a lovely week!

It’s been a busy one here, and set to get busier, but nothing will ever stop me finding the time on a Sunday morning to blog.

I submitted my first novel to agents in September. And it’s a long old wait for rejections and feedback. It’s so easy to get caught up waiting for replies which, in reality, may never come. It can be hard to think of anything else. As such, I’ve written a list of five useful things you can do while you’re waiting to hear back from agents.

1. Write something else
It can be hard to accept that a piece of work you’ve spent years on may not be the one that gets you out there. But the truth is, this is often the case. While your novel is in the submission stage, start writing something else. Because it could be the second novel that gets you noticed. And, even if you achieve success with novel 1, keeping the writing habit will help you improve and give you a wad of material going forward into your career.

2. Research more agents
It’s important to be optimistic, but it’s also important to be prepared. If you’ve sent your query to five agents, for example, start researching the next five. Finding agents isn’t as simple as sending it out to anyone with an agency. You need to find somebody who represents your genre, who’s looking for the themes you’ve written about. Preparing a list of agents to query to next means that if rejections come in, you’re ready to start again.

3. Read
Reading is key to writing. It’ll help you improve your own writing, keep you aware of what works (and what doesn’t!), and well…it’s just really enjoyable! When you’re novel is finished and submitted, take a little break and enjoy some reading time. Catch up on that to-be-read pile that you haven’t managed to make a dent in yet. Replenish, relax and enjoy.
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4. Attend an event
Writing events can be a fantastic opportunity, and allow you to meet other writers, and often agents and publishers too. It’s a great chance to network, you might get a window to pitch to an agent face to face, but one thing’s for certain; you’ll learn a lot. I attended a writing event earlier this year and it opened my eyes to so much. When you’re at this scary querying stage, valuable advice at these events can be a real boost.

5. Revise your query 
As with point number 2, you need to be prepared for rejection, and moving forward after rejection. If you’ve had rejections take a look at your cover letter, synopsis and first three chapters. Tweak if you can, to either make them stronger, or try a new approach. Getting this done while you wait for response means you’ll be set and ready to go as soon as it’s time to try again.

What do you do while you’re waiting to hear back?
I’d love your tips, so do comment below!

Until then,
Keep writing,

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23 thoughts on “5 Useful Things To Do While You’re Waiting to Hear Back From Agents”

  1. As I plan to self-publish, I’ll be waiting for feedback from beta readers. Yet, some of those tips will be useful at that point too. Working on smaller side-projects or drafting the sequel to “stay in shape”, working on the blurb, thinking about how I’d like the cover to look like or just reading more for inspiration is still useful. I’d maybe add pre-writing some blog posts if I have the idea for them so I have some in reserve when ideas don’t come on that front.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks. : ) I’m nearly there. I’m making some final revisions, and then I’ll start querying. In the meantime, I’m trying to work on a few short stories too, as I hear that can be a more accessible way to begin publishing.


  2. This is a great list! Publishing is such a “hurry up and wait” industry. Something else worth noting about point #1: I’ve heard authors and agents say that it’s a good idea to have another manuscript at the ready when you’re querying because agents often will ask if you have something else in the works. Many agents like to know they’re investing in a career instead of a one-trick pony (especially if your debut does well!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great tip, and very true as just two days ago an agent asked me the same! Luckily I was one chapter away from the first draft of novel 2, however in my earlier querying stages I wouldn’t have been able to answer that with a yes. So you’re completely right, maybe waiting until you have at least one other finished project is a great idea! Thanks for commenting ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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