How To Pass Time Waiting For a Publisher’s Response

 

Write. Check email. Play with kids. Clean house. Feed kids and make sure they get ready for the day ahead. Check email. Google “standard publishing contracts, tiered rejection letters and what they mean, how to get a literary agent and reading the success stories of those whom have already, ‘been there, done that, read the book and wrote the sequel.’ Read more of the book Writing the Character Centered Screenplay by Andrew Horton. Watch more TVO with the kids. Play the drums with my daughter and guitar with my son. (Please note I do not know how to play a musical instrument so my definition of play is not dependent on talent.) Do anything but check the email for the rest of the day if I can help it. I easily could have chewed to the cuticles of my nails by now with all the anticipation I’m feeling (but I haven’t and likely won’t) while waiting for the results: I’m waiting to know whether or not a certain publisher is going to accept or pass on my manuscript Nuka.

It started a few days ago when I received a reply to a follow-up email from the publisher who is aware I have been waiting a few months for a verdict on my manuscript. I can’t say I expected so much as a boo from the editor before he makes his decision as editors are notorious for their crazy and demanding work schedules but the response he took the time to provide to my follow-up email was more than appreciated. I was told I’ll know this week whether or not they are interested in publishing my work.

I am hoping to being offered a publishing contract but I am also realistic, it could go either way and I have to prepare for that. I’ve received form letters in the past on projects that never moved on to see the light of day while other work has gone on to be published or optioned so I can anticipate how I might react if the answer is not what I’m hoping but it doesn’t make the wait any easier.

Past rejection letters have pushed me to write more and work harder on developing my prose and scripts. I’ve contemplated writing the crappiest rejection letter I could possibly receive to alleviate the stress I might feel if the answer is not in my favor but honestly, that’s been done and these writers are either still twiddling their fingers at their desk or they’re published or optioned and writing more. (It still for some reason sounds like a good idea to at least pass some time).

And then I remind myself that even famous authors have had their share of rejection letters and that it would not be an anomaly if it happened to me. http://mentalfloss.com/article/26662/try-try-again-rejection-letters-received-bestselling-authors

I’ve been thinking of ways to pass the time this week and so far they include generating story ideas, photography fun at Mud Lake, getting my nails done, going to the beach, taking the family to the museum, eating chocolate sundaes at Dairy Queen, work on trashing a wedding dress I have for a potential short I might shoot for Digi60 which is coming up soon see http://www.digi60.org

Honestly I don’t know why this response waiting period feels different than the others. It’s my first novella but not my first published book. It only carries with it the weight of my blood, sweat, and tears I put into it metaphorically bleeding to death at the keyboard, searching for the right word, eliminating sentences that end with adverbs, keeping the story in the present tense, creating roadblocks for the protagonist along the way, building suspense, all that great textbook stuff writers’ ought to include to make a compelling story. But I remind myself, my book is not me, I am not my book. The book and I are not one and therefore any decision that is arrived at is completely impersonal and in no way a reflection of who I am or my worth as a writer. It will either complement the books that the publisher is looking for or delivers, or it won’t.

I would just be ecstatic to receive a positive response but I am open to all the possibilities that lay before me with the answer just out of my grasp at this time.

So I have made the decision that whatever the result I will dedicate the next few weeks devoted to finishing rewriting that feature length script I’ve been working on. I will research self-marketing a little more, look into getting Loved Like Me my children’s book on adoption formatted for circulation again and perhaps I will research literary agents that work with traditional publishers and continue work on a novel I have more than 100 pages written on so far.

For good measure I will drink a plethora of coffee, write more blogs and update my social media posts with everything hopefully unrelated to this self-torture of counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds, another milestone of my life as a writer will either be made or missed. My children will continue to keep me busy playing with Play-Dough, singing those wonderful songs from Mary Poppins, (because we all know what a spoonful of sugar does) and how that’s helpful if coffee is your drug of choice {at least if you’ve seen the film this may resonate with you}, and right now a word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is exactly what I need to explain what I’m feeling inside.

Whatever the results I do not know when or if I will have the resolve to publish them.

Will the manuscript be accepted or rejected? Contract or form letter? Tiered rejection letter? Some other response? Will I need an agent? Would I want an agent? The possibilities are numerous. I don’t know. But I do know that my current project won’t get written by itself. I tell myself I’ve got this. What writing projects are you working on these days? What has your experience with publishers been like? How did you react when you received rejection or acceptance letters? I’d love to know.

Back to work.

 

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