The Writers’ Waiting Room

Posted on May 21, 2009. Filed under: Absolute Top Speed, rejection, submission log, submitting, waiting, writing ideas file |

Waiting. We writers do it a lot. We walk on clouds while we wait to hear from editors and agents, anticipating that “yes,” often slamming back to earth when we receive another “no.” When we finally do get the green light, we wait for our stuff to be published. Or we wait to get paid. Then we start again, submitting, waiting, waiting some more. What can you do when you’re stuck in the writer’s waiting room? Here are a few tips:
Fugeddaboutit: If you obsess about your manuscript or query out there, you’ll drive yourself nuts. Do not check that mailbox a hundred times a day. Do not log onto your email and endlessly stew about whether or not the intended party got your stuff. Do use some sort of submission log to help you track your submission, but try to remember that editors and agents receive piles of stuff each month. Be patient–response times are often at least 2-3 months. Longer for novel manuscripts.
Make a wish/list: One of my colleagues says he makes a list of at least ten markets that fit whatever he’s mailing out. When a rejection slip arrives, he simply moves to the next place on his list and gets his stuff back out there.
Write the next thing: If you concentrate on the next article, essay, story or novel, chances are you won’t feel so anxious while in the writer’s waiting room. Meanwhile, work on your skills by taking a class, reading, critiquing and most importantly, by writing.

Writing Tip for Today: Nobody enjoys the anxiety of the waiting room. To beat the waiting blues, focus on writing the best stuff you can possibly write, at the utmost speed you can muster, and keep a file of writing ideas.

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One Response to “The Writers’ Waiting Room”

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The waiting room is a great analogy. I like that idea about keeping the wish list. Sounds like a good way to keep motivated–and keep from getting discouraged!


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