Monday, 21 May 2012

Things to do while you wait...

A big part of a writers life revolves around waiting. It seems that every single stage on the road to publication involves a waiting period and we never know quite now how long the wait will be, anything from a few days to a few months seems possible.

 And I can understand why, agents and publishers are very busy people, I'm often amazed that they bother reading all the submissions that come to them at all. Beause let's face it they're not being paid for that are they?
 So I don't blame the lovely people in publishing for my angst, it was my choice to submit and my decision to wait for a response after all.  But unfortunately, knowing that doesn't make the waiting any easier!
And the length of time you wait has no bearing on whether the news is good or bad as far as I can tell. 
I've sent out a submission email on a monday and had a form rejection the next day.
 I've also sent out a submission email and had a request for a full the same day.
So what can we do? The advice from the experts seems to be that while we wait we simply get on with churning out the next book.

 Oh, if only it were so easy!

But if I've just been working on a huge rewrite ready to send out to agents then I need some time to clear my head before I can start any thing new which means I need something else to fill my time while waiting to hear back such as...

1. Checking my email. I can do this hundreds of times a day. Just in case.

2. Cleaning the house. Boring but let's face it I'm not cleaning it when I'm writing and I'd like to avoid an appearance on "How filthy is my house? Really flipping filthy obviously but I'm happy to be humiliated on t.v if you just clean it all for me."

3. Read. Read books by published authors and consider all the ways that my book is better then theirs and the obvious unfairness of publishing and life in general.

4. Spend time with my family. Also known as whinging on about how stressful it is to be a writer and asking them repeatedly if they think agent xyz will love my work? If I'm lucky I can then provoke an argument based on either a yes or no answer and this will distract me even further.

5. Eat chocolate. Or biscuits. Or cake. Or ice cream. Or all of them together. This can make me feel better briefly and when I discover how much weight I've put on I can panic about dieting instead of worrying about rejection. Result!

6. Shopping. Buy books. Or clothes. Or Cake. Or anything really as long as it distracts me however briefly from the fact I still haven't heard anything!

7. Surf the internet. Read blogs by agents and authors and publishers or buy lot's of lovely things from amazon. This is two distractions in one and of course allows me to do number one also.

8. Erm....once I've tried all of the above and I still haven't heard anything now may be the time to contemplate the deepest recesses of my soul and consider what twisted part of my psyche persuaded me to become a writer at all??? I could have started a nice hobby instead like knitting or watercolour painting or making models out of matchsticks. I could have spent my time sticking pins into my eyes and repeatedly banging my head with a hammer instead of becoming involved in the sheer hell that is trying to get published!!!

Pause for deep breathing and happy thoughts...

9. Remember how much I love writing. Remember that I am not alone. Remember that getting published is a huge dream and that it's worth a bit of waiting because one day that wait may lead to something marvellous.

 One day...


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting Seymour, its always nice to know we're not alone with our trauma! Lorraine