|This is my manuscript.|
So... the editor I hired has had my manuscript for a week. I even hand-delivered it (Margo was at a book signing) so I know exactly when she got it. This is what I expected * to happen:
- On Sunday evening, after having my bulldog-clipped stack of papers for only 24 hours, I figured Margo would email me something like this: "Sioux, your story was so enthralling, I stayed up all night reading it. I could not put it down. DFS came to check on my daughter--I was hotlined--because I neglected my little girl completely--that's how compelling your manuscript was." This did not happen. However, she also didn't email me on Sunday to say it was a steaming pile of poop, that the stench was evident after only having my manuscript for a day, so I should be grateful.
- After having my story for a week, I daydreamed that Margo would email me to say, "Sioux, this is such brilliant stuff, and incredibly, it needs absolutely no editing. It's perfect just the way you've written it. I have connections with several publishers. I am going to meet with them and insist that one of them offers you a publishing contract. Thank you so much. I feel privileged to have been able to read such brilliance." That didn't happen either.
Lesson: Editing takes time. I've spent more than a year and a half on this story. After "giving birth" to this baby and then handing it over to someone else, I should be grateful that they're not just doing a cursory examination of my work.
Thinking of how difficult it is to be a patient writer, I stumbled upon an article. It seems I'm not the only writer who's chewing on my fingernails while waiting for a response from an editor/a publisher/my writing critique group members--whoever is reading my stuff. I then found another article . In it, Blake Powell insists that if I don't have patience, I'd better develop it, and quickly.
My restlessness made me remember a submission I'd once sent as a prospective piece for an anthology. The editor wanted the pieces emailed. The next day, I got a response. It was a no. I forgot exactly what I said when I replied, but it was something along the lines of, "I have another piece I could submit." Another reply came back immediately.
"Please don't send anything else to us." Wow. I got the message. I'd wanted to hear soon, and I did, even though it wasn't the response I was looking for.
So... I'm wondering. How do you handle it when impatience starts creeping in? What kind of self-talk do you engage in while you're waiting
* This is what I expected in my daydream-y life... just like I expect that some day I will get Jodi Picoult's level of notoriety and money. Can't you see Don Quixote tilting at windmills, Ed Ames is singing "To Dream the Impossible Dream" and I dream?
Sioux Roslawski was not patient when she was a kid, either. She did everything like she was "killin' snakes" (which I guess comes from the fact that if someone is scared of a snake and is hacking at it with a hoe, it's done hurriedly). If you'd like to read more of Sioux's stuff, check out her blog.