Thursday, July 7, 2011

Waiting—So Hard To Do

We've been in the market for a new home since leaving New Jersey three years ago. We lean toward the unique, which tends to narrow our options when realtors push house farms with clone homes. So when we recently found what for us is a truly special house and property, we placed a bid. Now we wait.

Anticipation.

As an aspiring author, I do a lot of waiting.

Waiting to hear from my critique group. Did they like my posted excerpt?

Waiting to hear about a contest's results. If, per chance, I final…

Waiting to hear the placement given by the final round agent/editor judge. Will they like my writing? Will they request a submission?

Waiting to hear if a sent query letter results in a request for more. If the request comes…

Waiting to hear from an agent or editor after sending a requested partial submission. Will they want to read more?

Waiting after sending a requested full submission. Will they want to purchase my story?

I doubt the waiting ends once the story is published.

Waiting can drive a writer crazy. I try to funnel the accompanying antsy sensation into a positive and work on another project. I'm not always successful.

Anticipation. Does it boost your energy and productivity or does it drag you down and cause you to procrastinate?

18 comments:

Emma Leigh said...

Great post. For me, it depends on how long the wait is. At the beginning of a wait, I'm motivated to push along and get more writing done. If the waiting is getting long, after 4-5 months, I start to get anxious and that will cause me to procrastinate.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hey, Dawn, super post! For me, I write!!! If I have another work in progress, I figure the other doesn't matter. I've got to have another done anyway, maybe something different. Maybe something similar. And when I'm done with that, I start on another writing project. I never wait to hear back. I always figure if that one didn't catch someone's attention, maybe the next one will.

Now you know why I have so many stories to self publish! I never spent time worrying and waiting! :)

Eventually, something will get picked up. :)

Vonnie Davis said...

You've hit the nail on the proverbial head by stating a writer waits for everything. I fill my waiting time to the point of exhaustion. While waiting for my debut book to publish, I wrote another novel (the editor reading it says she'll reply by mid-September...argh, more waiting!) and a 38,000 word novella (the editor reading it will respond by mid-August). I also take 2-3 online courses/workshops a month to improve my craft; I've so much to learn. In addition, I mentor two writers and judge contests. From time to time, I do a bit of beta reading. All of these things improves one as a writer, which is our ultimate goal. Yes, we wait, but if we're wise, we also work hard at improvement.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I agree, Emma. The longer the wait the harder it is to be productive.

Terry, I need to adopt your logic and write, write and write.

Vonnie, Keeping busy makes a lot of sense. Improving craft is a great way to wait things out.

Thanks for dropping in and sharing your POV.

Lu/Grace said...

Good luck with the house bid!

For me, waiting is debilitating. I try to get going on another project, but I end up checking my emails every five minutes. The only thing that works for me is having two critique partners drumming their fingers waiting for the next chapter. We meet in person once a week and they are very good at delivering the "disappointed" look, hehe.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hello, Lu/Grace. I belong to an on-line critique group which is helpful, but not quite the same as an in-person group. I can just imagine the expressions if you don't deliver.

Thanks for visiting Voices.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Ah, yes. I've always said the Publishing Biz should be called the Waiting Biz.

The waiting doesn't bring me down. But the rejections take a toll.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Yeah, Karen. The rejection letters can knock a writer on their butt. May we all dust ourselves off and try again. Thanks for stopping by.

Mona Risk said...

Dawn you are so right. Waiting is exhausting. I got fed up of waiting for NY publishers and enjoythe publishers who like me TWRP and Eloora's Cave. I don't wait anymore. I am too busy to wait and worry.

Jill James said...

Anticipation does a real number on me. It's like I'm in limbo waiting for results and I have real trouble moving forward. Like if I'm waiting for edits from my editor I have trouble moving on and writing on something else.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Mona and Jill. Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts on the subject.

Ana Morgan said...

Great topic, Dawn! I'm commenting while waiting for a big pot of water to boil form blanching spinach. I need to adopt this juggling approach to my WIP. Terry, you're an inspiration!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Good luck on getting that house. Be sure to let us know when you get to move in. :)

I think waiting started for me when I became a Mom. I waited eight long years for my second daughter to decide it was time to get here. Then there were the days of waiting outside the school building (mine always being the last one out the door) and so on. I think by the time waiting for things to happen in my writing career started, I was so used to waiting I don't give it another thought. Actually waiting doesn't seem so long if you forget about it..or is that old age?

Actually I hate to wait, but what else can you do?

Pat McDermott said...

Great, now I'll have that Carly Simon song about Anticipation in my head all day! IMHO, waiting sets us up to enjoy life's little pleasures. Looking forward to that special dinner, vacation, a new book, etc. makes them all the sweeter when they finally arrive. I'm not saying it's easy to wait, especially when you've put your writing soul on the line by submitting a piece that's special to you but just one more ms to an agent. Best thing to do is keep writing and dreaming. I do hope you don't have to wait too long for news about that house, Dawn. So exciting. Good luck!

Gabriella Hewitt said...

Great topic.

I try not to get too caught up in the waiting by getting on to the next project. Right now, I'm waiting to hear from my editor on one project and my agent on another. If I let myself think about it too much I'd go crazy. ( :

I really hope your bid on the house comes through. Think positive thoughts!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Ana, Paisley, Pat, and Gabriella, thanks for stopping by and weighing in on the topic. And thanks for the positive thoughts and good wishes. I'll give an update on the real estate drama next month. :)

Josie said...

Dawn,
Sometimes I think waiting is the story of my life. As an aspiring author, I, too, wait for contest results and finals, queries, etc.

And, best wishes on the bid for your new house. Please keep us posted.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Josie. Thanks for dropping in. And thanks for the best wishes.