The Waiting Game

Posted by kate Poels on Monday, October 15, 2018
The waiting game is something often talked about when it comes to the path of an author.  Waiting for inspiration or the perfect time to get on with that first draft of the first book (spoiler there is no such time I'm afraid), waiting for critique feedback, waiting for agent response, waiting for the publisher to get back to your agent.  Everything seems as though it is on a go slow in this wonderful, crazy, unique business.

Over the summer I submitted some work to two agents.  Waiting for their response was fairly easy as I went on holiday with my family and then had some terrible health news concerning my mum (happily resolved now) so I was preoccupied.
I have finally had a reply from one of the agents - no thank you - and have assumed the other is not interested enough so I'e started to send out manuscripts to some other agents at the top of my list. 
Now the waiting begins yet again.
This time have decided to tackle differently the long process of checking my inbox a million times a day, trying to foresee when likely submission reading days may be or checking Twitter to make sure the agents I am hoping to hear from are still here and haven't decided to take a short holiday to Venus.
For good and bad reasons as I mentioned, over the summer my mind was kept busy with other things which meant that agent submissions and replies were far from the top of my thought list.  So this is what I am going to try and achieve again now.  I'm not wishing Mum gets sick again, nor am I going to book another trip abroad but there are plenty of other things I can do in my life to take my mind off the thought of my submissions sitting in inboxes waiting to be looked at.

Firstly I have thrown myself into my latest WIP.  When I am writing I think of nothing other than my characters and the world I try to build for them.  When time has allowed I have immersed myself in my writing for hours at a time and the great thing about that is I now have a complete first draft of something new to be excited about.  I always have to leave things for a few weeks on completion as I can't see the glaring faults when I've only just written it.  So I now need something else to fill my writing hours and am taking a leaf out of my brilliantly creative Dad's book who is a great one for a project.  Luckily for me his current project is to make me a new art deco style fireplace.   My new project is a stained glass light box to fill that dingy space between the top of the kitchen cupboard and the ceiling.  It is so much fun choosing colours and putting designs together that it really is helping me survive the waiting.
Oh and my two daughters, dog, friends, dance classes and teaching days also help!

My husband sometimes asks me if I'm doing too much but I have to say that without the full days and busy life I think the waiting would take over and that is just time wasted.

So my advice to anyone at any stage in the writing journey who comes across another round of the waiting game is to try and put it on a shelf.  There is nothing to be gained by wasting head space on something that you have no control over so get a new hobby, go out for a walk, read a book, bake a cake, learn to dance, plant those spring bulbs that have been waiting for you.  Keep busy and the e-mail, call or feedback you are waiting for will pop up and surprise you out of the blue when you are least expecting it.