Wednesday, May 29, 2013

THE WAIT

We are spoiled!

Thanks to high-speed internet, microwave ovens, fast-acting medicines. . . we get things done in a jiffy. 

We complain if our computer takes longer than 3 seconds to access a website. We grumble if our microwave breaks down and have to use the oven or stove. We cry if our medicines do not work within 15-minutes. I call these frivolous waits.
Photo by Richard Dudley via sxc.hu 

The drawn out waits happen when we sit in a traffic jam or stand in line for a cashier. And there are harder waits- a couple trying to have a child, a single person looking for a husband, and a worried patient waiting for a diagnosis from a doctor.

Then there is the wait for an editor's response. I don’t know about you, but I get anxious waiting for “the letter” in the mail. Will I get an acceptance letter with contract or a rejection letter? 

I spend my time wondering...


What’s taking them so long? 

How long will it take them to pick up my manuscript from the slush pile and read it?

Maybe my manuscript is being passed back and forth between editors trying to convince each other that this is "the one."

Maybe my manuscript got lost in the mail. 

Maybe it slipped out of the mail bin and is collecting dust underneath someone’s desk.

When the publisher gives me a response time,often 3-6 months, at least I have a time frame to deal with. But when they say, “6 months but may take longer," what kind of time frame is that? What’s worse is when they say, “will respond only if interested.” Now that’s just plain mean. How do I know how long I should wait before giving up hope?





My advice? Don’t waist your time waiting. It messes up our minds and toys with our emotions and self-confidence. That’s why I think waiting for “the letter” ranks up there with the “harder wait.”

The hardest thing about life is waiting. My husband often reminds me of this:
"What we wait for is far less important than what God is doing in us while we wait."

While we wait, try not to think about the letter. Turn your focus away from the wait and work on improving your writing. When the letter comes, then you can worry about what's inside the letter. 

So for now, just keep on writing. And as my New Yorker friends would say, "fuggedaboudit!"

What are some tactics you use to get your mind off the wait?

15 comments:

  1. Good advice, Romelle. I'm usually pretty good about putting a submission out of mind and moving on to another project. Then it's almost a shock when I get a letter or email months later. Sometimes I do spend the time uselessly imagining where in the process the manuscript is. :)

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    1. Yes, I like to "[Send] it and forget it" too. I like the surprises that come- good or bad.

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  2. In my experience, you are not actually waiting for a letter to arrive (if it's a YES). The editor will usually phone or email you! So I agree with you, don't wait for a letter in the mail! Hope for something else! :) Good post.

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    1. You're right. When the letter comes, my heart sinks a little. Although, I did get a letter with good news. But that was from a magazine publisher. But I like what you said (rephrased): Why wait for a letter when you can hope for a phone call or email!

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  3. I like to keep on writing while waiting, too. With email submissions, it's nicer because the wait tends to be less. Also, programs like Submittable allow you to track your work and see if it's been received and is being read.

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    1. I must look into Submittable. First time I've heard of it. Thanks for mentioning it.

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  4. I like your husband's quote. Keep working on something new while you wait. And never give up. I had submitted a ms for a coloring book 2 yrs ago. Forgot about it. And 2 yrs later, the editor emailed to see if it was still available. Came out January of this year. So you never know!

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    1. 2 years! After a year, I usually call it a "no." But it's surprises like yours that make it that much more exciting.

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  5. Oh Tina don't give me more hope on those unanswered manuscripts!
    For the wait, I just write and try to keep something out in the world at all times.

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  6. Oh Tina don't make me hopeful about those long unanswered submissions!

    As for the wait, I just write and try to keep something out in the world at all times.

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    1. "Keep something out in the world at all times" I like that!

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  7. Great post, Romelle. I'm waiting on two manuscript submissions right now. It is hard to wait, that's for sure. The best cure, in my opinion, is to get working on some new pieces.

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    1. That is the best cure...next to chocolate!

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  8. Great post! The wait is awful. I try to just keep writing and hope to hear something good from someone in the meantime. You have to put your stuff out there, they won't find it on your computer.

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