Hurry Up and Wait – by Mary Lou Stark

Is there anyone who hasn’t heard this phrase before? – “Hurry up and wait”
It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself or someone else, if you are in school or retired, it seems to float to the surface in all of our lives.
The important thing is how you choose to respond in these situations.

As a Book Enchantress I work with people in the midst of the creative process of writing a book. There are several times along the way when everything seems to come to a screeching halt. The words refuse to flow, or the author is waiting for feedback from someone else.

The best first response to these times is to take a deep breath – the type singers learn as diaphragmatic breathing. Instead of sucking your belly in while taking an inward breath you expand your rib cage as far as you can. Breathe in slowly thru your nose, counting to four or longer. Then pause, again for a count to four, if you can. Then exhale with a loud burst of air thru your mouth to a count of four.

Over time, you will be able to count longer and longer during this deep breathing. You can also think about what you would like to add to your life while breathing in and what you would like to discard while exhaling.

Taking time to breathe will lessen the panic and make it easier to think clearly about next steps.

As an author, especially a first-time author, it is easy to move into panic mode when the words won’t come. After all, they are the core of the project we are working on. If we can’t come up with the words, or if we have to wait for our project to come to the top of the pile on someone else’s desk, what will we do?

A lot of things go into preparing a book for publication in addition to stringing pages of words together. And it really is best to start work on many of them before the writing part of it is completed.

There are a number of things that need to be decided before you are ready to sign your first autograph.

Do you have a cover design in mind? What do you want it to include? A picture? Just a title and your name? Short quotes from experts in your field?

Will there be a dedication? If so, to whom and why? Do you want to just list names or say something about these people?

Do you want to add illustrations or photographs to your book? Have you connected with an artist or photographer to take care of these?

What about the back of the book. Does your topic or the level of knowledge of your audience lend itself to creating a Glossary? If you refer to other writers and/or research in the body of your book you may need a Bibliography. How much of an Author’s Bio do you want to include?

Another important piece, is a call to action. It could be as simple as a link to your website where they can get a free item to help them benefit even more from your wisdom and knowledge. It could be a teaser about your next book. You do have a topic in mind don’t you, even if you don’t have a timeline for it?

How are you going to let your public know about your book? Will you plan a major launch activity? Do you have a large audience eagerly awaiting its release? Is a book tour in your future?

These are all things to be thinking about at the same time you are writing the body of your book.

The Universe is known to provide us with opportunities to stop and wait, to pull our thoughts together and reassess our next steps. Rather than pushing these times away, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to step back. Take a look over your master checklist so that nothing gets left undone.

You can learn more about me at

About author

This article was written by Mary Lou Stark

Welcome! Is writing a book on your bucket list or part of your business plan? Are you ready to venture forth on that adventure? Most people find the journey to be easier and more successful with a guide. As your Book Enchantress I will help you gain clarity about your topic and audience. Then we will set about writing your book – the one that shares your message in the manner that draws in your reader. Be it fiction or non-fiction. Retired from the US Library of Congress I have been writing and evaluating the writing of others for over 30 years. Find out more at and


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