Monday, May 10, 2010

Actively Waiting

I sent a manuscript out to a publisher (who shall remain nameless, NOT Avalon) last October and I'm waiting for the verdict. The editor had asked to see my work, but alas, that was not enough to leap-frog me over other more pressing matters on the editor's desk. I keep in touch with an e-mail every couple of months and have been assured by an assistant that the manuscript did arrive and is being considered. The writing world is very busy; there are many manuscripts waiting, etc., etc.

So I'm waiting.

We do a fair amount of waiting in our role as Writer. Waiting for a response to correspondence. Waiting for our computer to boot up. Waiting for a viable idea to form. Waiting to see the new cover. Waiting for the book to show up on store shelves. Waiting for an advance check. Yes, indeed. Waiting is part of our business.

What working writers learn very quickly is that the waiting had better take the form of "Actively Waiting" or you won't make much progress on your manuscript or your career.

While I wait for one publisher, I'm crafting query letters to others. While I wait to hear about the fate of one novel, the next novel is under construction. While I'm waiting for the book to show up on the shelves, I'm doing some local marketing for that book. While I'm waiting for an idea to form for one character, I'm mapping out another's personality and foibles.

Actively Waiting.

You want to make some headway in this crazy writing business? Well, get to it! Hurry up...and Wait!


Loretta C. Rogers said...

Actively waiting! You certainly hit the nail on the head. While reading your post, the old saying, "Patience is a virtue," kept popping into my head. But, all this waiting certainly tries one's patience. I've had a submission with a publisher for 12 mos. When I emailed about the status, I received no reply. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous when I called to speak to the editor, who promptly told me that if I'd read the webpage it said, not to contact them. He suggested I send a postcard. Which I did--the same day. That's been months ago--still no answer. I know editors are busy, but are they THAT busy--every single minute of the day?? Whatever happened to courtsey? Great article. It's one all writers can relate to.

Beate Boeker said...

. . my feelings exactly! I once wrote three books while waiting for the verdict on another! I often say to other would-be-writers that they have to start immediately and not postpone writing until they'll have retired. If you do that, you are likely to be in a nursing home by the time the answer arrives. :-) On the other hand, training for a job takes two to six years . . . why should writing be any different? So let's be patient, or if we aren't, let's distract ourselves by concentrating on other jobs . . . you got it so right!

Sandy Cody said...

I'd never thought of it as "actively waiting" but that is the perfect description. As writers, we have to keep writing and to remember to send off those very polite reminders every now and then.

LaVerne St. George said...

Thanks for your comments, Loretta. I do often wonder about the courtesy factor in publisher communication, but do realize that with all the correspondence hitting me at any one time, I can appreciate the difficulties in keeping up with submitting authors. On the other hand, this is their job, and by now you would think someone would have invented a way to keep up with this type of correspondence. Oh, wait, they management databases!

LaVerne St. George said...

Beate, what a hoot! You're so right. It wouldn't be so bad to get your first acceptance letter in a nursing home, but you might have difficulty completing the revisions. Get started now!

LaVerne St. George said...

"Very polite", Sandy, always. Indeed, we can be professional even as we're being rejected and ignored. We are authors. Hear us roar ;-).