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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Waiting Game

22 shopping days until Christmas!

A store in town posts the news on their sign each day so no one can miss it.

My daughter knows exactly how many days remain. She's been counting them down since October 1st.

The Fashion Queen is Miss Christmas. She's so enamored with the season that Thanksgiving, in her book, is known as The Day Before We Get The Tree. It's also the Day After All The Christmas Shopping is Done. She's not a happy camper unless the presents are wrapped and ready to put under the tree once it's up and decorated.

The tree's up. The gifts are in place. She's smiling. Now comes the wait.

• • • • •
Writers know all about waiting. After all, we're all aware that things in the publishing world move with the speed of a sleepy snail, right?

We wait for:
  • Inspiration to strike
  • The day we type The End
  • Feedback from critique partners
  • Contest results to be announced
And then there are the BIGGIES:
  • An agent to offer representation
  • A publishing house to offer a contract
And the waiting doesn't stop there. Newly contracted writers wait for:
  • The title to be firmed up
  • The cover to be designed
  • The book to be released
The waiting continues as an author awaits:
  • The first reviews
  • The edits on book two to be approved
  • The ideas on book three to come together
• • • • •
So, what do we do while we wait?
  • Do a number on our nails as we nibble them
  • Test our spouses' patience as we bemoan the state of things
  • Inundate our writing buddies with emails ranting about what isn't happening
Nope. There's a better way. We act like the professionals we are and take action. While we might feel like there's little we can do to move our careers along, there are a number of steps we can take.

Concentrate on our writing
  • Read books on craft
  • Focus on writing the best story possible
  • Rewrite, revise, and polish that story before submitting it
Build an online presence
  • Set up a website
  • Start/improve our blogs
  • Get Facebook and Twitter accounts
Educate ourselves about the publishing world
  • Visit agent and editor blogs
  • Visit publishing house websites
  • Learn how to write a great query letter

• • • • •

Waiting isn't easy. But if we use our waiting time well, we'll be better prepared for the day when our Dream Agent offers representation or an editor reads our story and says, "I want to contract this."

• • • • •

I wanna know . . .

What are you waiting for right now?

How do you handle the waiting time?
What lessons have you learned while waiting?


Katie Ganshert said...

You forget....there's waiting for the contract to come in the mail so you can talk about it. Although I've been told that waiting isn't as painful as the first kind. I'm just talking theoretically, of course. ;)

Keli Gwyn said...

Katie, I've often wondered how tough it must be for those who have good news to share and have to keep it under wraps. I guess they have to come up with some other reason to give those who wonder why they're walking around wearing a huge grin day after day. At least for those enduring a wait in December, they can just say they're feeling the holiday spirit, right? =)

Terri Tiffany said...

Great Post Keli. I am waiting to write THE END on this latest book, But like I said, I'm not rushing.I'm actually enjoying the idea that I'm not rushing and feel great about it. Before this, I was waiting and waiting and stressing. It's all in God;s timing after all, isn't it?

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I guess I'm waiting for several things right now but mostly I'm happy that I'm not hearing any news. I've been so busy with non-writing related things that it's kind of nice to set it all aside this month and hope I hear news next year.


I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You :-)


Keli Gwyn said...


I'm glad you're having fun with your book. Spending time with our characters and savoring the experience can be a real blessing. Be sure to let me know when you reach The End so I can join in your celebration.

Keli Gwyn said...

Cindy, I hope you enjoy a respite this month and that the new year brings wonderful news. I'm sooo eager to celebrate with you.

Keli Gwyn said...

Ron, thanks for visiting. I took a peek at your blog and enjoyed your post on cats, dogs, and pet rocks.

Heather Sunseri said...

It's kind of funny. I'm waiting on several things - agents, couple of readers to proof my novel again, inspiration to strike on next project - but I'm REALLY okay with the waiting right now. I can't really explain it, but I'm okay just "being" right now. If I figure out the how or why of that, I'll let everyone know.

Keli Gwyn said...

Heather, I'm delighted to hear that you're at peace with the waiting. What a blessing. And do share your tips for achieving that enviable state if you figure them out. I'm sure there are many of us who'd like to know your secret.

Here's hoping your waiting brings forth amazing results.

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Keli,

I think our daughters would be great friends. :)

You're so right...a writer is always waiting. Right now, I'm waiting to hear back from a large publishing house who has taken my book proposal before their board. My agent assures me he'll let me know as soon as he knows something, so I'm purposely holding on to peace. I'm also praying that I will be okay, REALLY okay, whichever way it goes.

Blessings to you!

Keli Gwyn said...

Julie, how exciting that your proposal is going to pub board. I hope you hear some good news soon. A contract would make an awesome Christmas present, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Wait-Winning Action In Time. I am learning there is no waiting time but only moments in real time. Nice post!

Melanie said...

Waiting is the hardest thing for me, so I am still learning the 'hard' lessons only found in waiting. I pray that God will speak to my heart in areas I need to change my heart and behavior during times of waiting.

Great post.

Maria I. Morgan said...

Love the analogy here, Keli! Lots of truth in this post. Playing the waiting game is a good patience booster and applying your suggestions would add an extra dose of wisdom! Have a marvelous weekend and God bless!

T. Anne said...

What a great post Keli! I'm waiting,hoping,wishing,praying for a contract. I've met the nicest people in the process so all is not lost.

Jessica Nelson said...

I'm waiting for lots of stuff. Am I waiting well? Not sure. LOL I have so many things going on that my brain feels a little bonkers. :-)

-b9 said...
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