10 Things to Do During that Horrible Space Between Finishing Your Book and Publication

There’s this awful period of time between finally having your book finished (YAY!) and waiting to get it published (AAAHHHH!!)…

…Querying…being on submission…waiting to hear back from agents, editors, or a publishing company about your “baby” that you have written, edited, and revised for months or years of your life…

For writers, the anticipation, dread, fear of the unknown, anxiety, and excitement is unmatched. It can consume your thoughts and make you seem like a crazy, insane person regardless of how you try to act like you are calm, cool, and collected.

The waiting can last between a few months to a year (or more) which is agonizing. How can you wait it out without chewing off all your nails, pulling out your hair strand by strand, wearing a rut in your carpet from pacing, or eating yourself into a chocolate coma? (Wait, no…maybe a chocolate coma is just fine. Carry on.)

Here’s how to take the edge off the waiting game’s anxiety/nervousness/dread/excitement:

  1. Eat chocolate. More than is healthy. It’s like getting hugs on the inside and we all need lots of hugs, right? 
  2. Stockpile your favorite go-to comfort foods. Chocolate, homemade bread, ice cream, cookies, Dr. Pepper, brownies, etc. It’s going to be a long wait; might as well be prepared.
  3. Clean your house. Maybe. I mean, only if you get really desperate or masochistic. But, that kind of torture could distract you pretty well. 
  4. Start a new writing project…because you’re a writer! Writers are never done–even if you just finished a book.
  5. Tackle that “to-be-read” pile. The pile seems to multiply like rabbits, so there’s always plenty of new books to read. 
  6. Stalk whomever you submitted to via Twitter or any other social media platform…wait, no…I didn’t say that. Huh…my delete key seems to be broken…
  7. Watch some good movies with good friends. Or bad ones. No one’s judging here.  
  8. Take a vacation. Mentally or physically. Or both. If you go somewhere physically, do some writing or research for writing and use it as a tax write-off (you can do that, right?).
  9. Cheer on your fellow writer friends. Because writers are cool and we celebrate and help each other. Seriously.
  10. Laugh or do yoga to relieve stress. Or if you’re me, yoga naturally leads to laughing…because, you know, I’m not super coordinated. (If that’s the case, maybe just do it at home with a DVD and friends so you don’t disturb coordinated people with your laughter.)

Waiting to hear back about your book is super HARD.  The fear of rejection and what others think about your work is tough. Writing is such a personal feat, and rejections can feel so personal. But remember, what is accepted or rejected is often subjective. It is not a manifestation of your ability as a writer, though we all have room for improvement.

Regardless of whether you get rejected or accepted, keep writing. So many successful authors have been rejected hundreds of times. Don’t give up no matter how many “no” responses you get.

Persistence leads to success.

Wendy Jessen is the author of more than 300 articles—book reviews as well as family-oriented articles on familyshare.com . She somehow manages to do that with 6 spirited children ranging in age from 4 to 13 under toe. In the throes of writing her first book, she finds ways to procrastinate which usually involves scrolling through social media. Wendy often stays up way past her bedtime reading YA or other fiction. She loves kid-free date night with her husband, family vacations, and kids’ bedtime, aka, the human version of whack-a-mole.

6 thoughts on “10 Things to Do During that Horrible Space Between Finishing Your Book and Publication

  1. I self-publish, so there isn't really a long break between finishing a book and publishing. There may be a small break waiting for beta readers and editors/proofers, but that's about it. So I make up for it by taking a nice well-deserved break BETWEEN books. 🙂


  2. I thought about that (and also made mention of it, but deleted it)…I'm sure there's a new special period of time after it's published…not looking forward to that part either. 🙂


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