Thursday, February 28, 2013



Writers spend a lot of time waiting -- at least I do: waiting for comments, waiting for contracts, and (during the first draft) waiting for ideas. For me it's one of the hardest things about writing.

Waiting makes me really uncomfortable -- but I've learned that trying to force answers from myself is no more helpful than trying to force them from other people. When I'm writing, I just have to sit and stare at the blank screen -- or go for a walk or do something mindless. Then, sometimes, the solution comes. Or sometimes I write something I know is bad, hoping that when I sit down again the next day I'll know how to make it better.

Raold Dahl said NEVER to stop when you do'nt know what to do next or you'll never start again! I think he's right--even if the solution doesn't come, I still need to sit there, trying: the next day, too.

What do you do when you're stuck in your writing?

These days, I don't allow waiting to hear from an agent or editor to be an activity (it used to be!) -- I just start something else. But I do sometimes wait for comments. And once I send this novel out, even though I will be starting something else, I don't know if I will wait patiently or passively to hear about IT past a certain point....but I might.

When I sent out my last published novel (a long time ago) I made a vow to just put it out of my mind, and (somewhat amazingly) I was able to do that.  I really felt that I had done all I could and it was out of my hands....maybe that's the secret. Anyhow, when I did hear, it came as a surprise: a good surprise.

What do you do when you're waiting to hear from an editor or agent, and haven't? How long do you wait before saying something?

Editors and agents (if any are reading this)! Does it annoy you if authors email you asking? Can you remember any particularly annoying-- or UNannoying -- questions?

1 comment:

Naomi Canale said...

You are right, the waiting can be grueling, but I've learned to just write. When I'm waiting, I seem to write more. It feels better when I'm filling the blank page and feeling accomplished than hitting refresh on repeat on my email. If I'm dry on ideas or burnt out, I seem to drive my husband crazy with house projects. Ha! Oh the life of a writer :)