Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A to Z Challenge Day 23: Waiting and wondering

Waiting is something that I've become very good at.  It feels like I'm always waiting for someone or something - waiting for a bus, waiting for someone to arrive, waiting to hear from someone, waiting to go somewhere or do something.

Waiting is something writers have to be good at, or you're going to be miserable and make everyone else around you miserable, too.  We have to wait to hear from agents when sending out queries, wait to find a publisher, wait to have our books published, wait to hear from an editor when we send out stories or articles, wait to see what reviewers will say about our books, wait for our books to arrive in the mail, wait to see our books on the bookstore shelves.  It's a never-ending cycle of waiting.

Right now, I'm waiting to hear from an editor that I sent a short story to for an anthology, and I probably won't hear from her until August.  Once I sent my story, I made up my mind not to think about it.  It'll happen or it won't, but at least I've tried, which is something I was too scared to do two years ago now.  I think one of the best things we can do is, when we send stuff away, try to forget about it as much as possible and move on.  Keep writing, keep editing, work on a new project, polish an old project, take a course to hone our skills, etc.  We can drive ourselves nuts waiting and feeling like we're at the mercy of other people.

That's one of the things that appeals to me about self-publishing.  It's something I've talked about before - it's not that I don't think I can get traditionally published, and it's not because self-publishing is the 'easy route'.  If you know anything about self-publishing, you'll know there's nothing easy about it - you're the one who has to put out the money for editing, cover art, promotion, etc., and do all the marketing and networking yourself.  But, I'm beginning to think all that extra work (and possible expense) would be worth it because self-published authors call the shots and keep control of their work.  There's also not so much waiting - once you have a polished work, you can have your book out to people literally overnight through e-publishing.  You still have to wait for people to buy it and wait for reviews, but that's just a fact of being a writer, regardless of how you're published. 

There are some cases where you don't have a choice but to wait.  You can't control other people, but you can control what you do.  In some cases, you have to stop waiting for things to happen and go out and make them happen.  Set goals and work hard toward them.  Find out ways to make your dreams come true instead of just hoping that someday maybe something will happen.  Don't be passive.  It's very rare that what we hope and wait and wish for will fall into our laps.  It does happen - I've even had it happen a couple of times (not in my writing career unfortunately, but in my previous career).  But don't you feel more satisfied when you've worked hard and know you're successful because of things you did, and the blood, sweat and tears you put into something?

Are you good at waiting?  What are you currently waiting for?  I know a lot of book bloggers participate in the 'Waiting on Wednesday' meme, so if you're of them, be sure to leave your link so I can check it out!  I love all the comments I've been getting, you guys are incredible, and every single comment is appreciated!  

I leave you today with a beautiful song U2 wrote for Willie Nelson and performed with him.  Enjoy!

And I don't know why a man
Searches for himself in his lover's eyes
No I don't know why a man
Sees the truth but needs the lies
My love is restless as the wind
She moves like a shadow across my skin
She left with my conscience, I don't want it back
It just gets in the way


  1. It is so hard to wait for the response. I waited four months just to get rejected. It is tough/ Good luck though.

  2. I hate waiting, makes me nervous


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