the Waiting game
Yes, you, you with the dream.
Have you ever thought about how much you wait in this business we're trying to break into?
We get this amazing story idea
and then we wait for that idea to percolate
and we wait for the MC(s) to solidify
and we wait for the plots to reveal itself.
And then we write.
And we do our first round of edits
and our second
and sometimes third
and we wait for them to settle.
If we're lucky we send our words to critique partners,
and we wait for their feedback,
then revise again.
After several iterations of that...
We create the submission package,
but we can't send it right away,
cause the nerves get to us.
Damn the nerves!
So we call on our courage
and wait for it to come around
and force us to hit send.
And then we wait some more.
We try not to go crazy,
cause crazy never helped anyone,
and throw ourselves into a new project
or a revision
or life in general.
But we can't help hitting refresh every few minutes,
even over the weekend,
cause phones make it so darn easy!
Damn you Apple!
No no, wait come back.
I didn't mean it.
I love you iPhone
So here's the lesson wonderful peeps: the publishing business is fraught with waiting and rejection, with one inevitably following the other. Seasoned writers tell us to go onto the next story idea or dive into our TBR pile, but as a newbie trying to break in, I have a hard time doing either. Sure the Psych Thriller rolling around my head is dying to be plotted, but I can't give it the time it deserves right now.
My heart is with my submission.
In the meantime, I'm contemplating #PitchSlam. The Harry Potter theme plucks at my heartstrings and the stellar agent lineup beckons, but before I do I'll keep some truths in mind.
- Getting a request from any contest isn't a golden ticket to signing. The appeal of a contest is the ability to bypass the query que and jump to the front of an agent/editor's inbox. That's a small part of the battle, my writing needs to hold up it's end of the bargain as well.
- Limit the number of contests I enter. There are so many of these online pitch opportunities every year (#AdPit, #SFFpit, #PitMad, etc), so pick and choose the one(s) that best fits your needs. I research every agent in the contest lineup to see if there's enough representation for the genre I write. If not, I force myself to move on depiste the feel-goods on the hash. It's a hard choice, but one that helps me anticipate rejection.
- Keep in mind your dream agent might take part in one these. You want to be 1000% ready for a request from him/her, cause you only have one chance to make a great first impression. I've bowed myself out of at least two pitch contests for this reason.
I can't recommend what's best for you good people and fellow slaves-to-the-keyboard. You know yourself better than anyone. But even if you do take part in any of the upcoming contests (#NoQS, #PitchSlam, #PitchMas, etc), keep in mind there will still be the wait.