Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Fricassee

It's one of those rare Fridays on which I don't have a lot to say.  Blogging is almost always effortless for me; in fact, if my drafting process were anything like my blogging process, I'd be able to churn out ten novels a year.  At least.

Sometimes, though, I do the stare-at-the-blank-space thing when I sit down to blog.  And that's what's happening right now.

Actually, I've been doing a lot of staring in general.  Staring out the window, staring at my piano, staring at nothing.  And it's not the kind of staring that comes when I'm plotting.

It's a really BLANK stare.

I'm pretty sure I know what's going on.  It's the I Feel Like Life Is One Big, Long Wait stare.  And you all know what I'm talking about.

You can't be a successful writer if you don't know how to WAIT.  We wait to hear back from our critique partners.  We wait for responses to our queries.  We wait for agents to read our partials or fulls.  We wait for our work to go on submission.  We wait for editors to read our manuscripts.

Then, even once we've signed a publishing contract, we wait some more:  we wait to make the big announcement; we wait for our editorial notes; we wait wait WAIT.

It's a lot of waiting, regardless of where we are on the timeline.

And waiting is wearisome.  No matter the half-a-dozen things you've got to keep yourself occupied during the waiting.  The waiting is STILL HAPPENING in the background, 24 hours a day.

Yes, of course I've got my half-a-dozen things in the air.  It's just that I don't feel like doing any of them.

So that's me.  Where are YOU in the waiting game?  And how do you avoid the blank stare?

Or maybe that's my own, unique quirk.  Which wouldn't surprise me one bit. *grin*

30 comments:

Elizabeth said...

What a true post! I'm not patient at all, so waiting for everything is just damn hard! I'm in the process of editing my entire MS--waiting for kids to go to bed so I can tweak, waiting for work to be done so I can write, waiting for hubby to stop talking so I can concentrate...waiting to finish edits. Then I'll be in the waiting game of CPs and queries. *sigh*

Vivi said...

I'm much better at the waiting now, as opposed to when I first started writing. I had to implement little rules, like I could only check my email twice a day, so I wouldn't go completely bonkers. But I think what's worse than waiting, is when the waiting is over, especially during the querying process. Once you've gotten all responses (read: rejections) and your book is kinda dead in the water. Talk about blank stare. (Hmmm..you can probably guess where I am in the "waiting" game right now, huh?) :) :)

Becky Mahoney said...

I'm waiting on the verdict for a major R&R with my dream agent... needless to say, I'm panicking. :)

Best of luck to all of you! Hope your waiting ends soon!

Durango Writer said...

Waiting to hear from three agents who have either a partial or full. Not coping well. Yes, blank staring but also obsessive email refreshing. Plus, I find I'm snacking more. It's a weird subconscious state of agitation and anxiety. I find exercise helps. I know that I face a life of "waiting" by choosing this career path.

Peter said...

The waiting never seems to end and the waiting, in a word, SUCKS.

But, never forget, in the end, the waiting is definitely worth it...

Sarah Ahiers said...

ugh, i hear you. I'm in a "wait for a writing workshop i'm attending in a couple of weeks before i can start to query". And it's a lot of waiting filled with sighs and slight MS tweaks and shrugs

JeffO said...

I sent out my first round of queries last week. I've already heard the 'bad news' from 2; at least two are out of the office for the week. So I'm waiting for rejections or requests, and waiting to get my regular writing gears moving again (although I know I have to get those in motion myself).

Alaina said...

I just shelved one novel-- two partial requests, both rejected because it wasn't big enough, though it was good-- and am waiting on feedback on my current query draft for another project. And I'm halfway through an edit on something a certain wonderful agent, who you interviewed yesterday, enjoyed but felt could improve in specific ways. And I have 8,000 words on my newest project.

But, until recently, I spent more time than I promised myself I would checking my e-mail for query replies. And I'm sure I'll be doing that again soon!

Melissa Sarno said...

Argh, waiting can be so debilitating... And you're so right about the waiting going on in the background. Even though I'm in the middle of a bunch of projects, I'm waiting for agents and editors to read and it's torture.

Franziska said...

I am not a good waiter. (Or waitress, ha ha.) But I'm getting better at it. I've read the advice to 'start a new project while waiting' so many times that recently I've even started to act on it. It helps. A bit.

Anonymous said...

Last summer I was waiting for a response from a request for a full. The waiting felt bigger than anything else going on and a certain song kept going through my head over and over (I am a patient boy, I wait, I wait, I wait. My time's like water down the drain.) Every time that song would start playing in my head, I knew I was thinking about the request, even if I wasn't consciously thinking of it.

BTW, I still haven't heard from that agent but at this point I'm no longer waiting to. I'm a third novel further along.

I hope, Authoress, that your waiting will end in a most positive and speedy manner.

Mara Rae said...

I'm in the querying stage, so LOTS of waiting, and I hate it. I'd forgotten how miserable it can be. I was also waiting to hear about a job, and then I just found out today that I got the offer eight days ago. The email just never came through. Talk about a lot of waiting around for nothing! But at least it's one thing to cross off the list :) Oh, and waiting on the Secret Agent contest is torture :P

Angela Brown said...

Oh the waiting. It is like we HURRY UP just to SIT and WAIT. And wait. Then wait some more. And yeah, more waiting to come.

But...

Sometimes you need that blank stare moment, that time your brain is actually doing something odd, something different, something unaccustomed: resting.

That is okay.

Currently, I'm waiting to get feedback on a WiP I sent to beta readers. I've gotten a little bit back but still have more to come. So yeah, just waiting...but in the meantime, I've got several other WiPs/shiny new ideas that are looking at me with fierce eyes demanding my attention. So yeah, waiting is happening but other work is calling.

Marie said...

Writing and waiting definitely goes hand in hand! I research and brainstorm for my next novel, read and knit to help ease the torment of waiting for responses to fulls I currently have out to a couple of agents. What also helps me is having blogs like this to visit - thank you, Authoress!!!

jdspero said...

I'm waiting on an interested agent who has had my 'full' for over a month now. Pins and needles! And hoping hoping hoping...

Kaye M. said...

Waiting to find some sort of awesome niche within myself that isn't directly involved with seeing another young writer picked up by an agent. Waiting to kick myself into gear with this first draft so we can cut to the editing. Waiting for the day that I can start worrying about having a proper author CP and querying.

But yes, I have to agree with Marie. I don't actually comment here, but reading blogs like yours helps a lot. Someday, I need to work up the courage to enter one of the contests. <3

Shelley said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck." I figure I've heard enough tuning up of instruments. I'm waiting for the symphony to begin.
On the other hand, a glass of wine helps with the waiting--and with enough of it, explains the blank, glazed expression. Cheers!

macaronipants said...

Thank you for this post. I've been staring blankly at the world the last couple of days. Why not just go with it? The kids are home on Easter break so I can't get much done anyway. Maybe I just need to set everything down for a couple of days and continue to stare blankly at things (only not feel guilty about it).

Donelle Lacy said...

This is exactly how I feel today. I mean, I understand that waiting is part of the writing/publishing game, but it's spilled over into other aspects of my life now too! I'm waiting on two partials and since I applied for freelance illustration gigs, I'm waiting to hear back on those too! The waiting is worse when money's on the line... *sighs*

Good luck to us all and may we find such productive ways to wait that we hardly realize we're waiting!

Rose Glitschka said...

Patience has never been my virtue. It goes right there with meekness as part of the things I will never attain. However, rather than a blank stare I have an unhealthy obsession with bejeweled. Looking for patterns and making things fit before seeing them explode is kind of therapeutic.

Waiting is the hardest part of this process we call life. As kids we wait for life to start and as adults we feel like everything is hurry up and stop, wait, and hurry up and stop again. Currently, I’m waiting for three partials that are under review, 10 open queries, crit partner to send revisions on new piece, husband to wake up so we can go see Cabin in the Woods, and for enough time in the day to work on my next project.

At least, I feel like progress is made when I blow up things in bejeweled.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

You're right, Authoress--all we do is wait. I'm waiting now, too, and it's hard not to poke my eyes out with a spoon.

That said, whenever I enter one of these waiting phases, I can't help but ask myself, who's waiting on me? My kids are waiting on me to play with them. My house is waiting on me to clean it. A couple of other writers are waiting on me to get critiques back to them. Maybe if I focus on the people and things that are waiting on me, I'll have less time to think about the things I'm waiting on. It's a win-win for all of us:)

Now if I can only convince myself to stop checking my e-mail/phone...

Beth Hull said...

Waiting to hear back from some agents with my full. Waiting to get feedback from one last beta reader before sending in a revised full for an R&R. And then I'll be waiting to hear back from that agent, too.

All while waiting for a new baby - and he's due in two weeks!

Lots of waiting, lots of staring, and lots of ice cream.

Karen Akins said...

Wow. I could have written this. In fact, I was actually about to go write a very similar post. Every. Single. Stage. has its share of waiting. I'm thankful for the encouragers around me who know my propensity to want to seal one thing up nice and tight before I move on to the next thing, but in writing, that's not a possibility.

Anonymous said...

A test of tattered patience and resolve? Or chance to breathe?

Wait a minute.

Julia said...

That's so extremely true... whenever I'm in the middle of waiting for something, I can't focus on anything else, and I feel like I have nothing to do, even when there are a billion and one other things on my plate. It's awful.

Julia said...

As for where I am in the waiting game:
- waiting for edits on one manuscript from one CP
- waiting for edits on another manuscript from two more CPs
- waiting to hear back from agents on queries and partial requests

... And meanwhile, I have way too many other things going on to count, and I can't focus on anything but the waiting. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Waiting! It's terrible! I'll tell what I'm waiting on - to hear back from the January SA! I envision our darling SA in a full body cast, struggling to reach the 5 winning manuscripts he selected. They are stacked on his bedside table. But he knocks them on the floor. No one will help him pick them up. He wants to read them and respond more than anything. But he can't! Someone help him! Hate waiting.

Michelle Krys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Krys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zia Blue said...

I get this feeling all the time... mostly when it comes to school :P As for writing, I'm not really waiting for anything at the moment- my WIP is currently smooth sailing. I hope everything happens more quickly!