The Writer’s Waiting Game – Part One

If you want to be a writer, you need to practice patience. You’re going to need it. Lots of it.

Patience by Craig Sunter courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

Anyone who has been through the mill of submission to agents or trad publishers will know the routine of a rush of activity in the lead up to submission, followed by a strange mix of excitement and terror when you actually post your manuscript or press send.

Brace Yourselves by Miranda Wood courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

Then comes a few days of fevered anticipation as you check the post/inbox on an hourly basis. The logic being that your manuscript when it arrives at its destination is going to scream such quality that someone important will drop everything else they were doing to read it immediately and respond with similar alacrity.

When those first few days pass, the enthusiasm levels take a dip. You remind yourself that the people you are submitting to are busy people. You’ll give them a week. But a week turns into two. Then a month. Make that six weeks?! Slowly the horror begins to dawn on you that you may never hear back.

Calendar by Dafne Cholet courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

Was the package lost in the post? Was the email lost in the hell of internet limbo or worse languishing unloved in a spam folder somewhere? You resolve to find out whether it safely arrived but that usually opens up a whole new round of playing the waiting game.

waiting 4
Tapping a Pencil by Rennett Stowe courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

Sometimes you’ve waited so long that by the time a form letter/email arrives thanking you but telling you that your manuscript was not for them you are almost relieved. At least you can stop wondering now.

Waiting is intrinsic to writing so you’d better get used to it and find ways to cope with it because even though the advent of email may have speeded up some things the wheels of publishing still turn pretty slowly.

Tumbleweed by Judit Klein courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

Think indie publishers are exempt from the waiting game? You’d be wrong. More on that in The Writer’s Waiting Game Part Two next week.

The Flower Seller Cover and Blurb
Have love and loyalty gone out of fashion? The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes available from Amazon now

10 thoughts on “The Writer’s Waiting Game – Part One

  1. Akaluv 26/08/2016 / 2:21 pm

    It’s a harsh world for a writer. We have to write, re-write, submit query letters, and market our own work.


    • ellieholmesauthor 26/08/2016 / 5:01 pm

      Yep! You’ve got to really love it to want to do it but at least it sorts the wheat from the chaff because the ones who think they’re going to make a quick buck realise it’s far harder than they ever thought leaving the way clear for the dedicated ones. Ellie x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Akaluv 26/08/2016 / 5:43 pm

        That’s so true! I hope one day my writing will break through. I’ve been waiting for over a year and half though, so I’m not hoping that much anymore.


      • ellieholmesauthor 28/08/2016 / 8:47 am

        I spent ten years waiting for a trad deal before finally speaking to my agent, pulling the plug and going indie. It’s a lot of work but I haven’t regretted it. To give yourself the best possible chance however you must get feedback on your writing from either critique services or writers’ groups. Good luck. Ellie x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Akaluv 28/08/2016 / 4:59 pm

        Thanks for the advice^^ And that’s a long time to wait =(


      • ellieholmesauthor 28/08/2016 / 6:14 pm

        That was just my experience. Doesn’t mean it’s like that for everyone. I only mentioned it because it’s the not giving up that matters.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Akaluv 30/08/2016 / 1:19 am

        Very true; not giving up is important.


  2. jozumwalt 26/08/2016 / 4:52 pm

    Been there, done the waiting, both agent/traditional and indie. As indie at least you have a bit more control.


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