Why not? Is it because you don’t want to wait? (Can I write another question? lol)
I’m just going to get this out there: waiting is hard. Waiting is not my idea of a good time. I don’t think to myself, “Yes! The light turned red! Now I get to wait.” Or, "Sweet. The parking lot at the post office is packed. I'll get to wait in a long line because I have nothing else to do this week."
I’ve always had a problem waiting. I remember in college how mad (yes, physically angry) I would get when the bus was late. That woman up there on the right side with the black leather jacket? That's how I look when waiting.
Question: So what did I do keeping this whole I-hate-waiting-for-the-bus incident in mind?
Answer: Threw myself headfirst into the publishing industry, where 90% of my time is spent, get this, waiting.
My journey has looked something like this. Is this road familiar to any of you? (Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes!)
1. Writing (the fun part)
2. Waiting to hear back from beta readers
3. Waiting to get feedback on my query
4. Waiting to get advice on my synopsis
5. Researching Agents (I have a post coming up on this if this item caused your panic face to appear)
6. Sending queries
7. Waiting to hear back on sent queries
8. Waiting to hear back on sent queries
9. Getting requests for more material
10. Waiting to hear back on sent queries
11. Sending requested material
12. Waiting to hear back on sent queries
13. Waiting to hear back on requests
14. Waiting to hear back on requests
15. Waiting to hear back on requests
16. Waiting to hear back on sent queries
17. Waiting to die from all the waiting
Publishing is one massive waiting game. So how do you make the game one worth playing? Because let’s face it, if it’s not fun, why are we doing it? Maybe some of you like self-inflicted torture, but me? Not so much. So I made myself a Waiting Toolkit.
Packed carefully in the Waiting Toolkit are the following diversions and/or tactics for
I know we’ve all heard this one before, and yes, it’s the largest thing in my toolkit.
1. Write. Something old, something new, something, um, not borrowed, and/or something blue. Just write. Jessica Faust’s post is one of the most brilliant I’ve read in a long time. I’m taking her advice and at some point, I know I’m going to be able to give up the waiting game. At least on the agent-front. Publishers are a whole new ballgame. It’s sort of like graduating from the minor leagues to the big leagues.
2. Read. There’s nothing like a good book to pass the hours/days/months spent waiting. Email me if you need a list of must-reads. I have stacks and stacks of books to read. And I actually enjoy it. And reading will make you a better writer. Or at least more familiar with what's out there already.
3. Help someone else in their journey. Beta-read. Help with queries on the QT forum or Rick Daley's blog where he posts queries for critiques. Or somewhere else you feel comfortable. There are plenty of sites to find and give help.
4. Research. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it would be a good idea to research more agents, flesh out new ideas, learn the ins and outs of publishing. I’m totally counting my blog reading in this category. And if you’re reading this blog right now, you can count this as research! Go you!
5. Be a real person too. Enjoy the twittering of the birds, the rain as it dances on the eaves, the spring breeze wafting off the Rocky Mountains…. No seriously, take a step back from the computer. Enjoy your real life. Your family. Your job. Just being alive. Nathan Bransford had a great post about making sure writing doesn't become your identity. I tucked it away neatly in my toolkit.
I'd love to hear how you endure The Wait. What tips and tricks do you have in your Waiting Toolkit?