Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday...and Thursday, and Friday, and...well you get it

So Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where bloggers discuss books they're anticipating.  And I'll get to that. But first I wanted to talk about waiting.

It's no coincidence there's only a one letter difference between writing and waiting.  Any writer seeking publication knows waiting is just part of the process.  I've experienced a bit of waiting myself recently and had a chance to reflect on the waiting process.

I did a lot of waiting and obsessively checking emails while querying agents and I heard published writers say the waiting doesn't get any better once you have an agent.  I didn't believe them.  I thought I did. I tried to believe them, but lately I've still found myself thinking, "OMG! This waiting is torturous, it's worse than querying! Why did no one warn me?" They warned me.

I've come up with some tips to help you with waiting, but this is more of a "do what I say, not what I do situation." While waiting, my day looked like this: Check email.  Check facebook.  Check twitter.  Read blogs on google reader.  Check email.  Email friend to make sure email is working.  Check facebook.  Check twitter.  Check facebook.  Check for new blog posts on google reader.  Check email.  Reply to friend. And so on.

Waiting Made Easy! Less Excruciating

1. Stay busy.  Waiting is easy if you don't have time to check your email.  The days fly by and you can't spare a second to think about it.  So take on new tasks at your day job, write like crazy, and spend time with friends and family.

2. Change locations.  I don't know why, but it helps. Sleep in a bed not your own, get away from your computer, and the days fly by. I spent last weekend at my parents and although
it wasn't a particularly exciting or eventful trip, I didn't obsessively check my email.

3. Connect with other waiters writers.  You feel like things are taking forever? Try talking about it with someone who doesn't understand the publishing industry.  My husband is constantly outraged it could take someone a month to reply to an email.  He'll say, "Just call him."  Because in his job, that makes sense.  You want an answer from someone?  You just call and ask. So talking with someone who does understand is great.  Reach out to other writers and no matter where they are in the publishing process, chances are, they're waiting too. Whine about it together.  Trust me, it helps.

4. You're not the only one waiting. I like to think of the process of making a book as a whole.  When you think about it, agents/editors have probably waited over a year for you to write the book.  So it's only fair you wait one or two months to hear back from them.  And they wait for you too!  My waiting ended yesterday and now the ball is back in my court and someone is waiting on me. Also, I try not to think of people in the publishing industry as the super-smart-speed-readers they are.  I'll ask my co-workers how long it takes them to read a book and adjust my expectations.

5. Write something new. Seriously.  There's nothing better to distract you from the last book than to get excited about the next one.

6. Magic makes everything better.  If all else fails, I like to think of NYC as this magical place, like the land of Faerie, where a single day there is the same as three months here.  We're writers.  Without our imaginations to comfort us, what do we have?

Speaking of Waiting...
Here are the two books I'm most excited about in 2012.  I can't wait!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Not only am I fascinated by John's signing psychosis, but this book sounds amazing!  I read the first chapter here and I can't wait to get my copy!

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  Isn't the cover gorgeous?  I've heard so many great things about this book.  I can't wait to read this beautiful story.

Give Away!

What book are you waiting on?  Tell me in the comments before midnight CST Wednesday 11/9/11 for a chance to win.  I'll choose one random commenter to win either a pre-order of a book not yet released or a copy of a book released in the last 2 months.  (U.S. only, sorry)


  1. Waiting is terrible and excruciating. No way around it. Good advice though! Submissions waiting is like... 10x worse than query waiting.

  2. Sadly, I am still in the query waiting stage, and you're right, I still tell myself that when I have an agent, things will be easier. I also told myself before I had any full requests that it would be easier once I got one, and it's definitely not. You'd think I'd put two and two together.

    Maybe it's just that we writers have to believe it gets better some time or we'd all quit this crazy career choice two paragraphs into our first manuscript. :)

  3. I love these tips! And you're so right about talking to other writers rather than people unfamiliar with the process. My husband would say the same thing!

    I'm looking forward to those two books, too! So excited for 2012!

  4. I love this article. =)

    Anyway, I am about to begin the querying process and honestly, I have already planned to begin some of my other writing projects while I wait. Hopefully I can have my next book ready for querying if/when my book hits the shelves.

    I've actually been working on writing outlines for my stories and on research while at the same time finishing up on my synopsis and edits on my novel.