Every writer knows that waiting is a part of the job. Waiting for beta readers to give feedback, waiting for responses on query letters. Waiting for your agent to say it’s time to submit and then waiting to see if any publishers want to offer you a deal.
It’s excruciating, but there is something to ease the pain and to make the minutes, days, weeks, even months go by faster. Work!
Writers write, so write already!
In an earlier post, I compared the publishing process to having a baby. It is a lot like that, the waiting and the wondering what life will be like once it (the book or the baby) arrives.
Because we tend to think of our books like offspring, it’s hard to imagine getting pregnant with another baby, before the one you’ve been carrying is born. But writers never carry just one story inside of them at a time.
Right now, I bet there are characters, just waiting to be written, passing the time playing cards in the deep regions of your cerebral cortex. We think waiting is hard for writers, just imagine what it’s like for the characters who get hopeful every time we pick up a pen or sit down at our keyboards. Think how their hearts race when we order that double shot of espresso at Starbucks and take a table in the back corner.
The thing is, stories want to be told and as writers, it’s our job to tell them. So forget the clock and the calender. Stop checking your email every hour. Eventually, you will hear something, but in the mean time, work. Give life and freedom to your characters. Spring them from your brain and let them live on the page.
For me, there’s nothing better than the moment a story takes hold of you and pushes you, blindfolded, down a steep hill. The exhileration of not knowing what’s going to happen and the certainty that you’ll figure it out is the best!
So yes, waiting is a part of being a writer. But remember that waiting should always equal writing.