W is for Waiting

W is for WaitingToday the A to Z Challenge continues! I’ll be posting about one letter/word on every weekday in April. Don’t want the barrage of posts? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when I start doing new stuff next month!

W is for Waiting.

Trying to become a professional writer involves a lot of waiting. Waiting for people to read your stories and hopefully let you know whether or not they liked it. Waiting for people to respond to your emails. Waiting to see when the people who took review copies of your book are actually going to review it. Waiting to find out whether or not any of your marketing efforts resulted in any sales. Waiting for the royalty check when you finally earn enough money to get one.

I used to think the worst part of the writing process was the rewriting, but now I believe the waiting is the hardest thing. Even when I have a dozen other creative projects going on I can’t help but wonder whether or not my submissions have been read at least once a day. The silence is deafening. A rejection, at least, is a notch on my belt, a sign that I’ve been trying, but the lack of response is a sign of, well, nothing. Most of the places where I submit promise at least a form rejection if they don’t take your work, but that isn’t true all the time. Not knowing whether or not my work has even been looked at, will even be looked at based on the cover letter, that is the hardest part of this trying-to-be-professional thing.

Waiting makes part of me want to instead invest my time in a crowdfunding campaign which will at least theoretically mean an earlier publication. I could likely publish my books faster via crowdfunding than through a traditional publisher even if a contract was handed for me tomorrow, but I want the support of a traditional publisher, even if it’s a tiny press.

I suspect the waiting gets easier the more you submit, but I’m also sure it will never be easier. I’ve poured my life and soul into the pieces I’ve actually sent out into the world, and every unanswered submission is a question burning somewhere in the back of my brain.

Have you submitted any written work? How do you make the waiting easier on yourself? Let me know in the comments section below!

2 thoughts on “W is for Waiting

  • I self-publish now, so the time formerly spent waiting on responses to submissions is a thing of the past. I don’t miss it a bit! You’re right about the waiting to see how marketing may or may not be panning out. But at least I have some control over that – if something’s not working, try something else!

    • dlgunn

      I’ve very seriously considered self publishing because I know it would result in less waiting, but in the end I want the support a publishing house–even a small one–can provide.

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