Monday, April 28, 2008


"Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..."
You all know the verse. I'm still waiting for those eagles wings, but I do know about waiting.
If you have been in the writing world for any length of time, you no doubt know that much of your time will be spent waiting.
The easy part is writing the manuscript. Okay, maybe not so easy. But once you've made sure your book is the best it can be, maybe you've even spent some money to send it to a freelance editor, which I do recommend if you can afford it, you then have to start sending out those queries.
And the waiting begins.
Since I've been at this a while, I can tell you, waiting is hard. And I don't seem to be getting any better at it.
Fortunately, a lot of agents and some publishers are now taking queries via email. You should hear back
from most people within a few days, check their websites as they will likely give you a response time.
Email can be tricky though. If you don't hear back within the alloted time, don't be afraid to follow-up, via email
of course. I've done this a couple of times only to find out that my query got lost in cyberspace.
However, once you know your query has been received, what then?
I'll share some things that have worked for me in the past, and some things that don't work.

* First of all, do NOT spend hours reviewing the manuscript you just sent out! You will find a million heinous mistakes
and you will want to shoot yourself. If it's gone it's gone. I still haven't mastered the art of not looking if any of you
have, let me know how to beat this devil.
* Try working on something new. I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects. At this point in time I have at least four unfinished manuscripts waiting for me to get started on. When my completed project first left my computer, I think I went into mourning. I really couldn't bring myself to work on anything. But I gave myself a little time, and then got cracking on the next book. How did I pick which one to work on? I chose the one that spoke the loudest, the story that wouldn't stop playing in my head.
* If you need to take a break, do. While you're waiting for news on a proposal, you may need to rest. Sometimes stepping away from the computer and recharging those batteries can do you the world of good. I once rested for five years. I'm not recommending you stay away for that long, unless you need to, but it certainly allowed me to put things in perspective, and when I was ready to write again, I knew it was because God wanted me to.
* Spend time with God. I do this while I'm cleaning the house, gardening or just relaxing outside. I sometimes get so busy I have a hard time hearing Him. I need to stop and listen, and seek His will. If I didn't do this, I'd be a nervous wreck.
* Finally, remind yourself just how far you've come. Whether you have a query out there or a full manuscript, you've accomplished something many writers never do. Trust in yourself, your ability, and the plan God has for you. After all, as the verse says, you're not really waiting on that publisher or agent, you are waiting on the LORD.

And when all else fails I definitely recommend eating out a lot at your favorite restaurant because you're just too stressed to cook, and shopping.
Happy Waiting!

1 comment:

Molly Noble Bull said...

Great article, Cathy.