Waiting – The Hardest Part Of Being A Writer

So you know, I’m probably one of the least patient people in the universe. I hate waiting and I hate it even more when there’s nothing I can do about it.

A big part of the process of writing is waiting. You write a manuscript and before you finish you think that’s the hardest thing. But you polish it and send it to crit partners and you wait. While you wait you begin to think what you’ve written is the biggest steaming pile of doo in the universe.

But you hear back and people dig it. They have suggestions, some you take, some you don’t. And then you send it to editors. Now this is agonizing. You try to tell yourself to just pretend the manuscript doesn’t exist, to forget about it and move on. But you can’t, LOL. So you pretend to be well adjusted about it meanwhile checking your email every thirty minutes and every time the phone rings you send out a mini hope/prayer/wish that it’s good news about the book.

Okay and then you hear back and it’s good news and then you wait for the contract to arrive and be approved and then you wait for edits and then you wait for second round edits and then you wait for the FLE and then you wait for release and then you wait to get reader feedback and reviews and then you wait to see how it sells.

And then you do it again with another book and another.

This process is similar with agents and then when your agent subs your stuff to NY.

I used to think having an agent would be good because it took away part of the pressure. And it does. It becomes her job to think about new markets (although I still do of course) and she get the pitch together and she subs it and she keeps an eye on who has what and for how long.

But now I’m totally out of the process altogether. Which is harder than waiting when I’m in control. Because so little about writing, once the manuscript leaves my possession, is about anything I can control.

And my agent is wonderful, she keeps me updated on what’s happening. If I email her she writes me back promptly. She’s unfailingly supportive and has been a great advocate of my books but still, I wish I could do something to make the process move quicker! I wish I could just do A and then it would all play out the way I want it to. But I can’t. We’ve done our part and now it’s wait and see time. Sigh.

I like to think this is all a great learning process. That I’m learning patience and a zen attitude about it. But I’m such a liar! I am not learning patience, I’m learning how to disguise what a neurotic freak I am, which I suppose is something, after all.

6 comments to “Waiting – The Hardest Part Of Being A Writer”

  1. Melany
    June 30th, 2006 at 11:13 am · Link

    Hugs, for the waiting. I know its hard. I’m the MOST impatient person in the world. Just ask my co-writer! truly, I am! 😉

    And good luck with ALL the submissions! .


  2. Shelley Munro
    June 30th, 2006 at 3:08 pm · Link

    Eek, I think I become less patient and more neurotic as time goes on! Good luck, Lauren, not that I think you’ll need it 🙂

  3. Vivi Anna
    June 30th, 2006 at 3:10 pm · Link

    yup, I hate to wait too Lauren. And my agent gives me crap about it…because I AM THE MOST IMPATIENT PERSON in the world!!! LOL

    It’s hurry up and wait in this business…

    but when the deal comes IT IS worth the wait..

    You’ll see soon enough…I have no doubt!

  4. Charlene Teglia
    July 1st, 2006 at 10:33 am · Link

    I find it helps to wait next to a pile of chocolate. *g*

  5. Lauren Dane
    July 1st, 2006 at 2:01 pm · Link

    Mel – Thanks, hon!

    Shelley – I try to be patient but I often fail, sigh.

    Vivi – thank you, sweetie. I hope so!!

    Charli – chocolate and cupcakes make things easier, LOL.

  6. Rene Lyons
    July 2nd, 2006 at 4:04 am · Link

    Ugh! Isn’t the waiting the worst?? I do the ‘prentend the mss doesn’t exist’ amd try to move on. Never works. 😉