One of the key things as a writer seems to be the Art of Waiting.
They say that having written some piece you should distance yourself from it, to wait until you approach it again either to edit or to proceed. This can be torturous, especially if you are well into the writing stage. That is the place where words just seem to flow and you don’t want to stop. This editing malarky is inconvenient. Should you edit down or as I do most often, edit up? Adding more and more to a piece. The wait would not work for me.
Then there is the waiting for replies from publishers and agents. I know they have a heck of a lot asked of them, but a six month wait, when even that doesn’t guarantee they will see the piece seems a rather long time. The slush pile may just get higher and higher and your work may never get off the bottom, but it would be nice to know. It only takes a few seconds to say “sorry, this isn’t for us” by email.
Publicising my Utrecht Snow is another case in point. I emailed several review sites, just to ask what their process is. To date nothing. Maybe they are all on their holidays, maybe snowed under (forgive me) with work. But why not say something, anything?
I contacted 140 people on Facebook. all people from the past, from my basketball coaching days. Many I had known for over 5 years, none for less than a year. Just to ask if they were interested in looking at the novel., I know, but desperate times means desperate measures. 140 people. 2 replies. It’s amazing how quickly people forget. 2 replies, 1 book sold!
Competitions and submissions to magazines. Another wait. I expect that, especially if you enter before the closing date. But to have the audacity to charge a fee for an expedited reply for a submission, that’s something else! $5 to have your work seen earlier. Rejected quicker, thats a hard result to take on board.
i sit here at my keyboard, listening to a 1969 song from Canned Heat. Waiting. Not for Godot, but for something to happen. Maybe it will, maybe not. But as I wait i realise that the writing is the important thing and even if no one else wants to read it, I am quite happy to write it. so in that case the waiting is meaningless. Very existential.