Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hurry up and wait!

Years ago when I was in the military, hurry up and wait was a phrase in common use. It was the military way to do things. Now I find myself hurrying and waiting as my writing career develops.
First, I want to report on our friend, Sharon Donovan. All I really know at this moment is that she is recovering from heart surgery and is scheduled to enter rehab this week. I'll share more as I learn it. Let's all continue to keep her in our prayers.
Now, as for this week's theme, I've hurried edits and then waited months as my 'baby' glaciers its way to publication. I've met 'hurry up' deadlines to get a manuscript into the hands of editors and then I wait months to learn whether it will be accepted or rejected. There are several steps in the publication process where the author feels hurried but fears upsetting the powers that be.
It happens. That, I can accept. I also realize that there are times when nothing can be done about it. I can accept that, too. What I have a hard time accepting is when the other party seems not to care that I'm on pins and needles as I wait, in the dark and worrying that I've done something wrong, or that a simple message keeping me in the loop takes little time or effort but would mean a lot to me.
How do you feel about the times you're left in that 'no communication window' similar to what NASA experienced as a shuttle re-enters Earth's atmosphere?
What do you do while you wait? Wait! I know! Keep writing, right? That's the conventional wisdom anyway. Once I got used to the accordioning that goes on in the writing world, I began to work on multiple manuscripts, doing preliminary work on a future project, hammering away the final passages of my WIP, and editing finished projects.
Once in a while, I have a story that gets under my skin, representing some truth or value that has personal meaning for me. Those are the ones where I die a thousand deaths as I wait. And those are the ones that become a nightmare for my writing muse. I've been on the planet too long for it to affect me this way, and yet it does.
Of course, all those supposedly knotty problems work out in their own good time. Afterward, I can look back and laugh at my insecurity. Having lived this cycle several times, one might think I could remember the outcome and not worry about it. Ha!
Am I the only one who is like this?
Let me know your thoughts and feelings on this or any other subject. Your writing pal,


  1. Oh I'm with you on this one. There's nothing worse than waiting. I'm not a patient person to begin with, and the waiting drives you up a wall. I bet I open my email a dozen times a day looking for that email that will either accept or reject my manuscript. And when I finally get it, I hold my breath half afraid to open it. I mean this is it, the moment of reality. The waiting is over - the answer is has arrived. What will it be? I hold my breath as I click to open the message. Sometimes it's good news, other times not. But.. that is the life of an author.

  2. You have expressed some of the frustrations that come with being a writer. Still I love what I do, so will keep on doing it, as I know you will too.

  3. Oh yes, it's a waiting game. Frustrating, agonizing, scary even. But -- still they keep me waiting. *sigh*

    Ya can't change 'em. They're gonna do what they're gonna do. :)

  4. I'm like this too. I hate waiting. But one thing I try to do is have as many things as possible on the go at once. Sounds hectic but if I have a bunch of things ready to be published at different places, I tend to forget about what's been where for so long and the waiting doesn't seem as bad.

    Then again, my luck it'll come back to bite me in the bum whenever they all want revisions at the same time!

  5. I hate waiting too, and I'm not patient at all. I'm currently waiting on a sub I made to the publisher who published my first novel. This sub was the one contracted by Tiger and I'm dying to see it in print. As required, I sent the first three chapters and the last chapter to the publisher. Two weeks ago. That doesn't sound long, but I've worked on this novel for years, had and lost a contract, so I'm anxious. I'm a returning author, can't they throw me a bone?
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only author who feels this way.

  6. One thing it seems we all agree on. Waiting is hell, but the alternative is worse. So, we keep on keeping on, hoping that next post will be THE one that breaks us out into a world where anything and everything we write is grabbed up instantly. Talk about fantasy! LOL
    Thanks for your thoughts, ladies. Cheers,

  7. Truly the hardest thing about life--and writing!

  8. Sigh, patience is a virture hard to learn. But I agree, it is easier to handle when you feel someone cares about you and is doing their best... but when they don't!!! grrrrr. I feel blest to have found people that do!

  9. Hi Dale - there's only one thing more stressful than waiting to know if your 'baby's' found favour with an editor, in my experience, anyway. My first novel 'Starquestt' was accepted a couple of months after I submitted it, but then it was months and months before I was able to start working on the edits, when my editor left the company and several other editors take over before I ended up with the one who finally made it'shine', and it was published eighteen months after acceptance. It was a very long eighteen months, I can tell you!

    For anyone else who's concerned about my dear friend Sharon, unfortunately she had a setback on Thursday and has been moved back to Allegheny Hospital, but her sister wrote to me yesterday and said she's out of I.C. again and feeling much better. As you say, she is so courageous and strong, it's awful to think of her going through all this, but we can only pray for her continued recovery and that she'll be back on-line again before very long, she's missed so much!
    (I'm continuing to post updates of her progress at her blog