Monday, November 29, 2010

The Waiting Game

Once you’ve gone over your manuscript with a magnifying glass, received feedback from your betas and crit partners, typed up your synopsis, finessed your blurb, and compiled your submission package, the road can seem a little empty. You hit “send” to your selected publisher (or publishers), receive the automated receipt for your submission, and sit back and wait.

Response time varies from publisher to publisher. Some turn around within a matter of days with a yes or no. Others quote a time period of anywhere from two to six weeks. The publisher to which I sent my latest manuscript quoted a time of 12-16 weeks. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s three to four months!

I submitted at the beginning of November. It could be March before I hear anything. What do you do in the interim? You could submit to another publisher, but if you’re anything like me, you have the one you really, really want.

So what do you do while waiting for a response?

Don’t think about it.

It’s hard not to think about it. It’s hard not to hold your breath every time you login to check your email. Believe me—I’m a month deep, and this post is as much a lecture to myself as anything else. Do whatever you need to do to get your mind off the wait, even if you have the patience of well, me (that’s to say not any).

So here’s what I’m planning to do in the wait.

1) Write!
2) Read
3) Outline

There’s a sense of completion that follows the end of every story. I like to ride that high as hard and fast as I can. Take the time between now and whenever you receive word from one publisher as a free period for your muse. Who knows? You might just love the outcome.


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