Friday, June 14, 2013

The Hazards of Being a Professional Waiter

I am pretty darn good at waiting. I actually like to think of myself as a professional waiter. No, not the kind that waits on tables. The kind that waits to hear back on manuscripts. If you're a writer you'd better get good at waiting because there's a lot of it.

That doesn't mean that waiting is always easy. Sure, sometimes it is. Like when you know the response time is three months and you've just sent the manuscript. Chances are it's going to be at least three months before you hear back. You can sub more, write more, etc. to keep yourself busy while you're waiting. But sometimes we just want to hear. Right now. Does anyone we've subbed to like our manuscript? Did they even open it yet? What if it didn't even get there? *gasp*

Well, in some situations we'll just never know. So many publishing houses and even agents have a no response is no policy now. I understand, it can be frustrating. We spend loads of time researching where to send our manuscripts. We know ridiculous amounts of information about people(agents and editors) we don't even know. Of course, we'd like to know them, that's why we're sending them our manuscripts. I've even gone so far as to send a submission to a publisher that insists on a three month exclusive but gives no response. So, I wait three months on my very well targeted, personalized submission that I spent hours on, then cross it off my list if I hear nothing. Pretty anti-climatic.

Another thing I've noticed as of late it that there are many houses and agents who are not reaching their goals on stated response time. I find this completely understandable. I can only imagine the piles of submissions they have to go through. And all the other things they have to do before they can take the time to read unsolicited submissions. It just means that I have to wait even longer than I had hoped I'd have to wait. And that I have to keep up with the various places I can find the agent or publisher's response time information if I am trying to figure out if I need to status query, which I am always reluctant to do. And also if I am dying to know. Which, if course I am.

Ooo, you know what stinks the most? When you've been waiting on a submission that is due. You go re-check the submission guidelines, and they have been changed to a no response or even a no submissions policy. *Sigh. It can be hard for a writer to keep up!

Why am I telling you all this? I just seem to be having one of those impatient moments. When I'd like to hear back on a submission. Even just one. Of course, I'd like it to be a good response. I've learned from experience that those definitely take longer to hear back on.

Yes, it's okay to feel impatient.What it's not okay to do is pester those you've subbed to. That will bring you a definite no. Plus it's just rude. Having to deal with all this waiting is just one of the hazards of being a writer.

Guess I'd better get back to revising the chapter book I'm working on getting ready to send out. Somehow having more to wait on makes it easier. If you're waiting on manuscripts feel free to hit me up. I'll wait along with you! You are, of course, invited to join our group at Sub It Club where we wait together. It somehow makes it a little easier, having others who understand, to share the waiting with.

3 comments:

Monica said...

Truer than true. I'm a professional waiter, too. ^_^

Heather Ayris Burnell said...

Ha! Monica, your comment makes me smile. Professional waiters unite!

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