Waiting sucks.

In a lot of ways, the publishing industry feels like it’s all about ‘hurry up and wait’.  Want to be published in fiction?  Hurry up and write the book/story.  As soon as you write it, you wait.  You have to query, then wait.  If someone wants to read more, you have to send it off, then wait.  If they decide to represent you, you have to wait while they try to sell it.  If they sell it, you have to wait for it to be published.  There’s even more waiting involved, but those are the highlights.

I think it was easier to wait before the Internet.  It has changed our lives to the extreme.  We have text messages, instant messaging, twitter, email, facebook – on-demand video, eBooks, video games – there is almost nothing you have to wait around for anymore.

So, for someone who is so plugged in most of the time he is awake, it feels like being in a car doing 75 mph down the highway and then suddenly hitting rush hour, 5 MPH traffic for the next 55 minutes.  BAM!  Slow down.  Wait.  Inch along.

The advice that most writer’s give in these situations is to move on to the next project.  Not only to take your mind off the waiting, but because you can’t rest on what you’ve accomplished for too long.  (Obviously, you can breathe for a day or two).  But there’s no guarantee that anyone will like, love or buy what you’ve written or that there will be a market for it.  So you have to keep writing.

For a couple days, I was rudderless.  In my head, I have 5 books for Sam Kane.  The decision I had to make was whether to start on the second of those books, without even having the first one sold (or anyone interested in it), or to do something else.

I have a space opera I want to do, Evermist (sort of scifi sort of fantasy) I want to rewrite, an epic fantasy too.  So of course, me being me, I go off and write a short story for the Writer’s Group.  🙂

Hey – at least I’m writing…



  • Paul (@princejvstin) Posted July 11, 2011 9:47 am

    The Internet is a driver and a symptom of our ever-accelerating society, agreed.

  • Jamie Todd Rubin Posted July 11, 2011 12:53 pm

    I’m one of those in the “move into the next project” camp. I think this works better for folks in short fiction where response times have generally been shortening. (Under 10 days at a number of markets.) Also, you learn exactly how long it takes some markets to respond one way or the other, so you know when to expect a response.

    With novels I’m sure it is different because of the greater lag. I’ll tell you the toughest wait I’ve had so far was from the day I sold “Take One for the Road” to Analog (late September 2010) until it appeared in the June issue (late March 2011). That was a hard wait.

  • Texanne Posted July 14, 2011 3:18 pm

    Okay, Patrick. Here’s a thought: cut the grizzled buzzards out of your paradigm.

    I’d put in a couple of links, but that would send the post to the spam bin, so I’ll just say check out Holly Lisle’s place (wordpress just blew up, so her theme is down, but the content is still up) and Bob Mayer’s place, which he calls writeitforward dot wordpress dot com.

    Here’s a link to a good post at Holly’s place.

    I’m not saying that this is definitely the right thing for you to do, but I’m saying not to reject it before you investigate it. I wish you much success. Oh, captcha.

    • Patrick Hester Posted July 15, 2011 10:38 am

      Oh, believe me – I’m all on top of that. I want to try this first. A lot of people do. If it doesn’t work, then I go to Plan B.


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