There are two things every beginning writer needs.  Patience, and a very thick skin.

If a writer wants to be published, sooner or later they will have to submit their work someplace that will print it (or post it, in the case of online markets).  And since editors and agents receive a lot of work by people who want to be published, they sometimes take a very long time responding to a submission.  And after all that waiting, the reality is that a given work, even a great work, is likely to be rejected.  Many times.  By many people.  Hence, the need for patience and a very thick skin.

I’ll probably come back to this topic  in future posts with greater detail.  But for right now, I’ve been thinking about these things because I am at this moment waiting to hear back on a book I’ve submitted.  My years of experience and wall of rejection letters lead the pessimistic part of me to expect a response of “it’s not ready.”  But nevertheless, I’m hopeful.  The agent I submitted the book to has been wonderful, very supportive of me.  He has read a partial draft and was very enthusiastic.  I know that when he says he’ll get to it as soon as he can, he will.  And yet…

That doesn’t really help, in the end.  I still have to wait.  I still check my email obsessively.  I still hold my breath a little before I open the mailbox.  I am not very patient.  Submission has gotten easier over the years, but it still ain’t easy.

So here’s a song that’s been running through my head as I wait…and wait…and wait.  It’s by Marcy Playground, and the whole album is a favorite of mine.

[audio:marcy_playground_sunday_mail.mp3|titles=Sunday Mail|artists=Marcy Playground]

4 responses to “Waiting”

  1. It is surprising to me that with all the crap that is out there already published, that it’s so hard to be published. I guess it depends on the company to whom it’s submitted, right? You could just pour out some dribble and get it published by a company with low standards of excellence (is that an oxymoron?) but that wouldn’t be very rewarding, would it? I’m sure once you get someone to publish the book, it will feel amazing because of all the effort it took to get there and because it’s a work that you’re proud of.

  2. Waiting is hard- it seems like all the things that are most worthwhile involve waiting.

    I hope you hear back soon. Maybe you should write something else while you’re waiting. 🙂 Hmm. Just noticed that the words writing and waiting are the same except one letter. One tiny letter.

  3. Devin,
    Yes, there is a lot of crap out there, but some crap actually sells. And if it sells, publishers will print it, crap or not. But I don’t want to be known for writing really successful crap.

    Writing…waiting. One letter. I’ll probably use that. 🙂 And you’re absolutely right about starting a new project. I’ve begun preliminary research on my next book, and it does help.

  4. You are on my to do list this week, but under e-mails I need to send, I wrote something that looked like “Mutt” and I couldn’t figure out what I meant. What I meant is that I finished your manuscript days ago and have lots to say, mostly good. Sometime when I get more pressing matters crossed off the list I will submit my very non-articulate evaluation. For now – I think you’ve got something there mister. Keep the Faith!

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