Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG - The Waiting and Worring Never Goes Away

Oh my, another IWSG has snuck up on me and I'm late! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, this is my
birthday week. Cruise on by the Ninja Pirate Cave and thank our host Alex and this month's co-hosts LG Keltner, Donna Hole, Lisa Buie-Collard and SL Hennessy!
So what am I feeling insecure about this month? Waiting. Specifically, that the waiting and worrying NEVER GOES AWAY. At every step of the publishing process there's waiting. You could grow old waiting in publishing.

At the query stage, you wait for a reply. If it's early in the query stage, you wait and wait, and then the rejection comes. Later in the query stage* you wait for a reply, get a partial request, send it back out then wait for a response. Then, if things are going well, it gets bumped up to a full. Then guess what happens? If you answered "I take a drink," you're my kind of writer.

The thing that's hard to see from the query trenches is that the waiting doesn't magically end after you're done querying agents. And worse, the worrying doesn't go away either. After you have the book deal or the agent, the worrying cranks in to crazyland. I don't know about everyone else, but when I query, there's a hope that it'll work out. I dream about it going well, but it's pretty abstract. Once there's a contract in hand, the Sagittarius gets real.

As in, before, in the querying stage, that was just warm up, because holy Scorpio, the Sagittarius is on fire and I don't know what the Capricorn I was thinking when I was worried about those queries.

Yeah, I had that moment.

It wasn't pretty.

Worse, it was a really big wake up call that everything every writer with a contract in hand had said was true. It's crazy when you're playing for keeps. Did I vary my sentence structure enough? Do I use the right peel when talking about bananas? Did I boil my characters down too much and make all my prose lifeless, tasteless drivel that sounds like something Ben Stein would read in an out take for the Ferris Bueller's Day Off extended, special edition DVD?

Right, deep breaths.

So, while I didn't like the idea that the people who came before were totally on to something, and that maybe the waiting would magically resolve itself, NOPE. I am not the exception. The process is going for me exactly how it went for all those before me (great, I can't even be unique in my meltdowns???!!!).



  1. Nope, you're not unique. And the worries never go away. Did I choose the right contract? Will readers like it? Hate it? Will I get laughed at?

    I keep waiting for confidence, but so far, it never comes.

  2. Happy birthday!
    The worrying doesn't stop even when you get a publisher and a book out into the world. We just deal. And press on.

  3. I think it's good to worry - it shows you really care and want your work to be the best it can be. Embrace the worry! :-)

  4. I would have knots in my stomach and anxiety. I totally see what you're saying! keep us in the loop though!

  5. Yes, all this worry always makes me ask myself how badly I want this!
    But I do want to share my words someday so I try not to think about all the waiting and wondering I'm in for. I think as writers and weavers of imaginary what-ifs we're especially prone to making ourselves crazy with self doubt.
    It's good to know we're not alone in feeling this way. :)

  6. "It's crazy when you're playing for keeps."
    Frickin spot on, lady. Also, i missed this IWSG. I feel bad.

  7. It's all so difficult, Rena!!!!!

    But I'm giving you a HUGE HUG. Your words and thoughts always speak to me. I'm so glad you exist! <3

  8. I have heard before that the waiting never actually ends; I don't know if it's reassuring or not to know that's true. O_o Does it help to work on other stuff while you're waiting? I was wondering about that while reading your post, as it sounds like it could help. ...which probably means I'm completely wrong. Oi.


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