Writing: Waiting is the Hardest Part

I don’t know about you, but I find the waiting to be the hardest part of trying to become an author. Waiting while my readers critique my stories and get back to me, waiting until my book is good enough to send out to agents, waiting to hear back from agents about my query letter, waiting to hear back on requested manuscripts (yes, still waiting), and waiting to hear about various contest results. (No, I didn’t win SYTYCW. Still hoping I might get a revise and resubmit, or a call telling me they might like to buy it.)

I’m probably as patient as the next person; not expecting instant gratification, but not quite able to control my worrying either. But let me tell you, “writing” waiting is hard, especially waiting to hear back from the agents who have my manuscripts. I’m tied to my computer, checking my email at least once an hour all day. When I wake up, the first thing I do is turn it on, all the while trying to ignore the nervous pitching in my stomach.

I don’t know why I’m so very anxious about it. Yes, it’s something I’ve wanted for such a long time, but you know what? I wanted to have a baby more, and I honestly think that those nine months of waiting for him were easier than waiting to hear back from the agents. I don’t know if it was because I knew approximately when he was coming, or if it was because I was a little afraid as well as excited, but that period of waiting was not as bad as this one.

Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it? (Yes, I am already working on my next story. No, it doesn’t seem to be helping.) Does anyone have any tips or tricks that might help me out?


8 thoughts on “Writing: Waiting is the Hardest Part

  1. Breathing, walking, yoga. A bike ride. I found that outdoor activities were the best distractions for taking my mind off waiting for a publisher/agent to get back to me.

    I’m thrilled you got another manuscript request! You’re so close, Amy. It’s coming soon.

  2. The thing that makes writing hard, is that our success is seemingly based on how much people like our stuff. Is it good enough? Will people read it? Will they buy it? We think our books are awesome, but what we think doesn’t matter as much in the long run.

    We don’t care what people think about our baby because we already know he/she is the cutest, most wonderful and amazing baby in the world.

    So every time we get a rejection (or criticism), it stings. And waiting to see if we get another sting is almost as painful.

    I don’t have much advice other than this, there’s something for everyone, and finding an agent or publisher is a matter of finding the right person for your manuscript at the right time. From experience, I can say that it’s better to be rejected–and wait–until you find someone who is truly excited about your work.

    I’m in your campaign group. Hi!

  3. You only check email once an hour-you’re doing better than I am 🙂
    I know the waiting really is the worst…because we don’t know what the outcome will be, I think. You know at the end of 9 months, you’re going to have a baby. But you don’t know after all your hard work, that after you’ve waited and waited to hear back, if you’ll be published.
    Good luck!

  4. I’m terrible at the waiting game, but I’ve found keeping myself busy with other projects helps the time pass more quickly. Maybe that’s why I always have 4 or 5 writing projects going at once. 🙂

  5. I agree with Julie’s post. Me? I go for long walks to take my mind off the whole waiting thing. That and try to keep busy doing something non-writer related for a bit before going back to it. Sometimes my work is high stress and on those days I just say to myself ‘forget the whole writing gig and get your head down’. In a funny way it helps distract me from the desire to succeed and find approval as an author. 🙂 Congrats on your MS request btw.
    We’re in the same campaign group – so ‘Hi’ 🙂 And ‘HI’ to Julie too.

  6. I haven’t reached the writing stage where the waiting really begins (querying, beta readers, etc.), but waiting for anything that means a lot is awfully hard. I’d agree with the other commenters that working on another project or doing something unrelated can help.

    Fellow Campaigner stopping by!

  7. I think the waiting is always hard. I am always hopeful when I query or send out a partial or a full, but I know it can be five minutes or six months for a response or never. LOL. So I try to focus on the present. I keep sending out queries and work on the next manuscript. I blog. I spend time with family and friends. I read. I distract myself as best I can from the waiting. When all else fails dance the nerves out. 🙂

  8. Whew…I know. It’s killing me. All I know is that I’ve slacked off on meditating, and now I really need to start again! I can’t think of anything else that will get me through this! I feel for you!

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