Thursday, December 12, 2013

Writing 101: Waiting

People ask me what I do for a living, and I tell them I'm a writer. They always think that's interesting, because these people who are asking don't actually know what it's like. What is it like to be a writer? It's like you're waiting. Every day, every second, you're always waiting for something. You're in suspense all the time, and you're worried half the time and the rest of the time...you're just exhausted. 


Patience Isn't a Virtue (It's a Chore)

You work and you work on a manuscript, until finally you manage to turn it into a book. You read it, admire it, worry about it and obsess over it. Finally, you work up your courage and you start sending out letters to agents and publishers. Or maybe you decide to go it alone, and you format your book so it can be self-published. Your heart races, and your adrenaline pumps and your fingers fly across the keys. Finally you hit that submit button. And then...you wait. 

If you write, you're going to be waiting a lot. Some agents and publishers take weeks to answer you, if they do at all, and if they actually ask you for a sample of your book then you're going to pacing the floors for up to a month or more. And waiting for reviews to come in? I still feel a little anxious every time I check my Amazon pages. Waiting is part of being a writer, and that's difficult for me because I am not a patient person. 

But through the years, I've managed to get used to playing the waiting game in all aspects of my career. Start preparing yourself now to wait after every bit of writing you do and you'll get used to it sooner. Even in the digital age, when you can trade emails with people instead of waiting for an envelope, you're going to have to wait. And unfortunately, a longer wait isn't always a better one. So start waiting now...because if you're serious about being a writer you're going to be doing it for the rest of your life.

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