Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Waiting Out the Waiting Period

Any author or poet who has attempted to go the route of traditional publishing is familiar with that dreaded “waiting period.” You know which one I’m talking about. You spend all your time and effort into creating an amazing story, editing and revising until your eyes are bloodshot and your fingertips are raw.

Then you hit send.

And you wait.

And you wait.

And you wait.

If you are very lucky or very talented (and often a combination of both), you will hear back from the publishers 6-12 months later as they express interest in you or your book. You think, Huzzah! The waiting is over and my book will be published immediately!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not how it works. After that initial waiting period and the good news, you’re in for more waiting periods. Your book will most likely go through several editing phrases and after that you have visual decisions such as cover and formatting. Your book will most likely not be published until a year or two after you hear back.

That is a LOT of waiting.

As someone intimately engulfed within this dreaded waiting period, let me give you some tips on how to survive it:

  1. Take a deep breath and stop opening up your email every single hour of every single day (Seriously, Kayla Ann, stop doing this.) It only makes you more antsy when you fixate on their response.
  2. Get outside and do something. I don’t care if it’s the gym (which is my favorite as it’s a great way to release pent up energy) or a walk with your pup, or minigolf, or going to the beach, or biking, or going to the mall. In some way, get out and do something physical.
  3. Get back inside and do something. (But you just said go outside! Yes, I did, keep reading.) After you have gotten rid of some of that nervous energy and you can actually focus, start working on a different project. Write your next book or create some blogging posts and schedule them for the future.
  4. Take another breath and repeat the steps above. Trust me, you’re going to be waiting for awhile. (I’ve also found that small, but frequent, amounts of chocolate can do wonders for your mood.)

Image result for i'm waiting gif

Anyone else ever been stuck in that waiting period?

How do you pass the time and maintain your flimsy grasp on reality?


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15 thoughts on “Writing Tip: Waiting Out the Waiting Period”

  1. I only do submissions to magazines and anthologies, and the month or two of waiting is plenty enough for me, but still I think your tips are useful for me, thank you ❤️ Kayla

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very helpful for everyone who’s frustrated and confused about the publishing world.
    It’s also exactly why I prefer self-publishing.
    Traditional publishers tell you what the publisher is looking for, not whether your story is good. They are looking for what sells on the market right now, not for what will lead the new market. Unless you’re already established with this publisher or another one, they are unlikely to take a risk on something new or fresh.
    Self-publishing, while not having the same “legitimate” reputation, allows you to get your story out there the way you want it to be, and not a book company. Yeah, if you suck at writing you won’t find out until after you publish it, but I’d rather have a book on amazon that only three people purchases than a pile of rejection letter from people who barely had time to skim through the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As one who has seen a bunch of rejection slips (as has Stephen King), this is what has worked for me.

    Try your VERY best to connect with a publisher at a conference or a festival. Eat at their table, attend their small group sessions. Bump into them at the book fair. Have a snappy one liner ready to pitch the book that meets the publisher’s needs. I met my current publisher at the Florida Heritage Book Festival. I had just finished my first middle grades book, but she had told the audience she did not want children’s books. So, I followed her to the door and quickly asked, “How about a middle grades novel?” And she said, “Oh, yes. Send it along.” Snap, just like that. Publishers like to work with real people.

    If you don’t have a personal invitation from a publisher for your book ALWAYS QUERY first.. “I got an ad for a screenplay through a book agency. I queried. The agent liked the idea, so I felt free to interact with her as a professional.

    When the manuscript is requested, in your cover letter tell them how great it was to meet them at the conference or festival and how grateful you are for the request. Remind them of your conversation.I attach a picture. Let them know that you are sending a hard copy and an e-mail submission for their reading preference.. (Optional)

    On the envelope or e-mail banner write, MANUSCRIPT REQUESTED–BOOK TITLE. This sends your work to the head of the stack.

    While you wait, look for the next person to whom you will submit your project should it not fit the current publisher’s market.

    If rejected, boldly ask for a personal impression or response from the person who read it since it was “written just for them.” When my screenplay came back “I want to pass at this time,” I wrote back at once and asked for her impression. She gave specific critique.

    Notice any hint of wisdom and edit your book accordingly.

    Pour yourself into your next project. Remember that sometimes writing requires mental preparation apart from the computer. Praying, brainstorming and listening for a “forward march.”

    Usually acceptance comes more frequently with experience. (as with Stephen King.)

    Liked by 1 person

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