Last time you saw the words “Waiting Game” here on my little slice of the Internet, it was to talk about waiting for news on a project and what to do to not stress. This is in the same vein, but more a story than an advice column.
Last time I attempted to publish a novel, I succeeded. It became what is titled The Protektor’s Reality, and I am so happy I finally got a published book. Waiting was the hardest part though. Not only for betas/edits, but covers, layout, the delay in instantaneously being able to throw your greatest achievement out into the throngs of people with confetti and flying money. Does matter if that waiting takes only 1 day or five months. Waiting is HARD.
For The Protektor’s Reality (hereby abbreviated “TPR”), I had a few edits I waited for over the course of five months. First one I sent out go it all back to me within a month. Luckily, she enjoyed it so much, she said she is always willing to read more. In fact, you’ll hear a bit more about her later (in relation to the reason for this post). The other edits weren’t so quick, but I eventually got them back. Waiting for those edits, even the one-monther, were absolutely nervewracking. At the time, I was still in school, so I could study and hang with friends while I waited.
That no longer applies.
Granted, I do have a full-time job now, which takes up a majority of my day. However, during down times at the office, my mind shoots back to what I am waiting on, if they’ll like it, if I’ll like what comes out of it, what that will mean for the future of my book, etc, etc, until I drive myself crazy and have to force myself to do the work that suddenly gets slammed on my plate.
I’ll lay it out, plain and simple.
We all have to do it, though. In fact, we all wait on a regular basis. For food to cook at home, or be prepared at a fast food establishment or restaurant. For our favorite TV show to come back on after commercials. For the car in front of you to stop driving 30 in a 60 (on dry roads) and get their butt moving. For us to fall asleep at night.
Granted, a lot of these might frustrate various people. However, we writers aren’t only stressed by waiting, we are terrified. Why do you think that is?
Worry we won’t ever hear back.
Anxiety over our writing not being good enough to succeed.
Maybe fear over rejection or dislike.
Whatever our reasoning, as writers, we are terrified of waiting. Our work (or pieces related to it) seem to be in a state of unreachable limbo, and we feel so much fear it will never come out.
When I finally released TPR into the wild, a huge weight lifted off my chest. I breathed a sigh or relief, sunk into a comfy chair, let life start to go back to normal-stress levels. Soon after, though, came the big realization.
This wasn’t over.
If I wanted a future career as an author, one which I’d already started down with the launch on TPR, I would need to keep creating and publishing books.
With a wating game.
Every. Single. Time.
My stress shot through the roof. It wasn’t over. And, for us as authors and writers, it will never be over. But, that’s okay. Because, we are still doing what we love: creating stories, and sharing them with the world.
Currently? I’m in a waiting game again, and will probably be for a majority of 2016. I’ve sent off my betas, one of which being the one who read the TPR before its release. All my betas are reliable and have a considerable amount of willingness to make time to read, because they trust this will be a good read. Then, after that, I’ll make my personal edits as quick as I can, and send off to an editor. Then wait again. Once that’s back, make my final edits, send off stuff to layout and cover designers. Wait. Get all that back. Upload to self-publishing company. Wait. Receive proof on mail. Read and make sure everything turned out correctly. Hit Submit. Write another book. Send to betas.
It’s a neverending, vicous cycle of waiting in the author world, but, once we accept it as a part of our writing/publishing journey, it becomes easier.
What to do in that time frame?
And, do what you do best.