Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The waiting game.

Let's discuss patience.

I suck at it. I freely admit this.

Okay, I take it back. I don't suck at it. I'm pretty good about following guidelines and listening to what I'm told. If you give me a six month deadline, I will write that down and wait to hear something back in six months. If you get back to me before then, with good news or bad, I am happily surprised and I move on.

If, however, you go beyond the deadline or extend it over and over, I get nervous and anxious and fidgety. I obsess. I think that's part and parcel of being a writer. I also think it has something to do with the difference in mindsets on both sides of this business.

As writers, we focus only on our own work. We only really pay attention to what impacts us or what opportunities might come open for our work. We want to know that we're headed in the right direction, taking full advantage of good things and that we're moving forward.

Editors have a *ton* of things to keep track of all at once. They have many authors, all of whom want their time and attention and want to be the special ones. It must be maddening to try to keep up with everything and make sure all the pieces of the job get done, that no one person gets skimped on or brushed aside.

But I think there's something of an unfair expectation from that side of the publishing desk. It seems, to me, that editors want deadlines met and adhered to and if they aren't, there's a penalty to the author. It doesn't work in reverse. If an author gets frustrated or fed up, there's no real recourse. There's someone else who will gladly take her space, fill her slot, and not think twice about doing it.

So what are some tricks that you all use to slay the beast of doubt while you're waiting? Because I could use the help.

1 comment:

M.E Ellis said...

Oh bless.

Just re-read your own post! Your answer is right there.

And if nothing comes of what you've subbed (I'm assuming) then send it right on out to someone else.

Think of it as a learning curve, this waiting game. Pretend whatever you're waiting on doesn't exist!

I've not been much help...