For all the waiting in publishing, the worst is realizing you aren’t waiting on anything.
I’m paraphrasing, but that’s a quote from one of my wise writer buds, Dahlia Adler. And it’s extremely accurate, I think.
I recently finished the first draft of my latest manuscript. I wrote it faster than any other manuscript I’ve ever written — 92,000 words in about 10 weeks of part-time writing (and full-time working and life, of course). Not because I had a crazy deadline, but more because the thing just shot out of my fingertips. I couldn’t write the words fast enough, though no one was really waiting on it.
I’m happily blitzing through revisions now, but soon, very soon, the wait begins.
First, the wait to see what my critique partners say.
Then more revision.
Next, the wait to see what beta readers say.
Then more revision.
And the wait to see what my agent says.
Then (probably) more revision.
And finally, if I’m lucky: The wait for my book birthday (probably a cool 18 months to two years after signing a contract).
There is a lot of waiting in this profession. No matter your chosen publication path, chances are that if you’re a writer, your patience is constantly getting a decent workout.
As writers, sharing our words with others is a fabulous joy. You love your work and you instantly want others to enjoy it, too.
That wait to share it can be just a few minutes to edit and post a rough scene on a blog.
Or it can be months on end, playing the query game, waiting for an agent to love it.
Or it can be during submission, which, by all accounts, is a special level of check-your-email-and-your-phone-every-freaking-minute torture.
And then there’s the wait we all hope to go through, whether we chose traditional or indie publishing: The wait for your manuscript to become a real, live book, thanks to editing and formatting and a fancy cover.
Yes, waiting is universal. But as Dahlia points out, you can’t wait unless you’ve actually finished your manuscript.
How do you deal with the waiting?