The Waiting Game

So you’ve written and edited, scratched things out and put new ideas into play. You get up the nerve to finally submit and then it’s time to sit back and wait. If you’re anything like me it’s torture. Patience doesn’t come easy for most of us. The modern world is full of automatic responses, quick turn around times, and generally faster connections than previous societies could ever dream of. We’re hard wired to get information fast and that’s the way we like it.

The writing world on the other hand is so flooded that publishers are drowning in our ideas and sorting out the good from the bad takes time. Lots of time. I’m doing my best to try and appreciate that. I have received a rejection within a day and that was like having acid thrown in my face, clearly I needed to rethink that particular story. The longer you go without a rejection the better your chances may be, that doesn’t always mean an acceptance but it does indicate that your story didn’t automatically end up in the “no” pile. Two to six months has been the general period I’ve had to wait for most acceptances. That isn’t always true, sometimes it depends on the genera. My soon to be released children’s book, “My Family is Different”, was picked up and under contract within days. It happened so fast that I barely had time to wrap my brain around it.

I’d like to say that eventually the waiting game isn’t so hard. Sure you get used to it. But if you’re as attached to each story you create: every character, situation, world, connection and so on like I am, you feel as if a piece of yourself is out there stuck in limbo until decided as to whether or not it will be given life in the literary world. To cope I just keep writing more. Maybe that’s insanity. It’s a self perpetuating cycle. Write to help ease the anxiety of waiting for a response, edit, submit, all so you can begin writing something new to take your mind off of your previous submission.

Despite all the chaos I love it. Even the rejections. Some writers beat themselves up, others just move on. I’d rather keep at it and not torture myself too much. Maybe it’s because I find that I lean better from failure than anything else, but there’s nothing like succeeding after receiving numerous rejections. So no matter how hard the waiting game is, I’m just glad to be playing.


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