Wait Training

Posted: September 10, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , , , ,

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So my manuscript for The Last Princess is out of my hands and in the hands of about a dozen Beta Readers, ranging from brave volunteers (who signed up here) to friends and family (who had the manuscript foisted upon them). Before sending it out, I had polished the manuscript about as much as I could stand without beginning to dislike my own story. Every chapter had already been critiqued by a team of loyal readers, so by themselves I was pretty happy with them; I just needed to plug a few holes and smooth a few wrinkles, etc.

So there is nothing I can do but wait until I start getting comments back from my Betas.

Oh, sure – I could work on the sequel (I am) or get started on my pitch and my query letter (I will). I could even use this “down” time to catch up on my recreational reading; Kim Harrison’s last Hollows book was just released yesterday and I was able to download my pre-ordered e-book version. My checkbook needs balancing, too. There are any number of things I could be doing with the small fragments of free time I have, now.

But I think the best use of my time has got to be practicing my waiting skills. Because soon enough I will be sending out query letters to literary agents, and that’s when the serious, deep, nail-biting, truly lonely waiting will begin in earnest. Punctuated, of course, by the occasional rejection letter. It’s not uncommon for an agency to take six months to respond to a query by a writer with a book.

I’m not trained for this kind of months-long waiting. The measly one-week turnaround time for critiques on each of my chapters was painful enough. But I did develop a few callouses and those waiting muscles got a bit stronger. But, really, this is like counting walking the dog every day for two weeks as preparation for the New York City Marathon.

Of course by then I expect I’ll be working in earnest on the sequel, The Last Faerie Godmother.. I’ll have to be, because I’m planning to pitch this as a series, and when you do that agents have this odd fetish about seeing evidence that you are serious. So you can expect to be hearing all about that in the months that come. But ideally you’ll be hearing me announce an acceptance by an agent in the coming months.

In the mean time, any practical advice you can offer me to assist with my wait training will be most appreciated.

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Comments
  1. l would not recommend nail biting, though I happen to be a big fan of that. I’ve been in the query letter department (only two, but still) (and both rejected, even worse) and the waiting is killer. Sometimes it’s actually good to have that down time where you are not writing. Or you dabble in useless but fun things. But I hear you. And you just have to find what works for you in the ‘relax, these things take time’ zone.

    Like

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