An Honest Look at Wait Mode

hourFellow Dame, Karen Mahoney,and I have chatted about how hard it is to blog while on submission.   It’s difficult to decide what to write here.  You want to be honest about the process for those new writers just starting out–don’t want them going in with high expectations, but the truth is


I knew this could take some time. I’ve gone this route before.  Yet, the excitement over my book during one week last year made me think it would go faster this time.  Honestly? I went through some pretty heavy disappointment after a few months.

Everyone talks of jumping into the next project instead of waiting on one to sell.  I did this. I finished another first book in a series and it’s out with my agent now.  I wrote and sold a story for an anthology. I also have three novellas nearly completed. I love the work and the challenge of deadlines.

But the thing is, no matter what else you’re doing, there is a part of your brain in wait modeWondering if an editor is reading your work, hoping one will love it.  It’s impossible to set the wait aside, not entirely. Not when it’s something you want so very much.

I started blogging when I decided to try the publishing route again.  Writing is in my blood. The desire to see my books on the shelves is my dream.  I enjoy blogging and talking about the business with other writers, but every time I got on here and wanted to talk about the difficulties of waiting, I worried a potential editor might look me up and think I was complaining.  I’m not.  I do understand how many writers are after the few publishing spots out there, understand the time it can take.  Doesn’t make it easier, but it is the way it is. (Nods to the lovely Sara Saint John for that bit of wisdom, btw.)

Another writer who went through a long wait on her first book told me this period is one of the hardest. She’s right.  You wobble back and forth, anticipation bubbling in your gut one day and frustration eating away at it the next. The hope stays there, even on the days you think you couldn’t possibly feel it anymore. I’ve had extremely positive feedback already, but like the rest of the world in this current economy, I think publishing companies are in wait mode, too. 

But it occurred to me that I have a loyal group of readers here who deserve more of the Blogger Rinda I used to be, so I’m going to work on getting three or so posts a week again.  Possibly more when my other personal situations improve, too.  You guys rock for waiting along with me! 😉

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0 thoughts on “An Honest Look at Wait Mode”

  1. Wow, thanks for that post. I don’t have a blog, but I lurk on blogs and twitter, always looking for an insight on how to get throught the waiting and the crushing self-doubt. It’s a huge leap of faith to send a book out on submission, even with a great agent (miriam is my agent as well). I sometimes feel like I’ve jumped off a dark cliff with almost everything important to me clenched to my chest, and I have to believe that there is an ocean at the bottom to land in. My best friend is a writer/super star, so that is sometimes difficult, as well.

    You are a a thoughtful, generous blogger and I think your Norse book sounds amazing. Thanks again for the lovely post, and here is some major good luck karma tossed back at you!

  2. Ah, that self-doubt. It’s a nasty little creature, always lurking and taking bites when we glance away. I call them gremlins and even have an icon for them.

    This is so difficult and there are so many of us out there with our work circulating and our wishes clasped to our chests. None of us would wish this on another, but there is comfort in knowing we’re not alone in the wait.

    Have you thought about joining us on Twitter? There’s a group of us, all Miriam clients and a couple of others who wish each other a “Happy Friday Anyway” every week. It tends to lessen the sting of another week’s passing. 🙂

  3. Thanks! I want to join twitter, but (embarrassinlgly enough) I’m still tryiing to figure out exactly how it works. Even Facebook is a bit of a challenge for me. : )

  4. It confused me at first, too, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too hard. I use something called Tweetdeck and it lets me put my favorites into one group. That way I can follow more than I can handle, but I don’t miss anything from the people I’m the most interested in following. It sets up columns, too. And refreshes on it’s own.

  5. Great post. I now am in wait mode with something new going on submission. It *is* always there, like a third eye with an eyelash in it.

  6. I think it’s impossible not to get your hopes up during the submission process. Hope is what allows the human race to sustain itself in a world where logic & reason would dictate that we should just be realistic and throw in the towel. While maintaining a clear-eyed view of the publishing world is certainly advisable, it’s the people who keep working, the ones who never give up hope that succeed in making their dreams reality.

    I can hardly wait for the day I’ll be able to walk into the book store and see the next Rinda Elliot on the shelves! 🙂

  7. Oh, thank you! I can hardly wait myself! And yes on keeping working and getting hopes up. It happens no matter what. And it’s not such a bad thing. One of these days, the hopes pay off. 🙂

  8. I’ll add my thanks for blogging about the terrible, crushing wait period – it is heartening to know people have survived (or are surviving) it, and it’s definitely a service to aspiring novelists like myself who don’t even have an agent yet and who (used to) think that once an agent is snagged it’s all smooth sailing. Remember – we’re all crossing our fingers for you, and it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be offering congratulations!

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