Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Waiting Game


Last month, in the midst of my job's annual convention madness, I received a request for a full. "Yippee...oh, hell!" So, there was the mad dash to read through the entire manuscript in one weekend, applying everything I've learned in working with a freelance editor. Then finally, I pressed the Send button, which has to be the most thrilling / horrible moment in a writer's life -- all your hopes bubble up from deep inside you, before you experience total nausea and despair, when you realize you left out a key word or line from some chapter.

What follows is the Waiting Game. You wait for the delivery receipt that your mail has reached its intended destination, or the read receipt indicating that someone, hopefully the person you intended, at least clicked on your email. Whether or not it was read, who knows? Then you wait for the allotted time in which you've been told your manuscript will be reviewed; weeks or months invariably. If it's in November or December, you know the holidays are coming, so you should also anticipate that your waiting may be extended another two weeks beyond what you've been told. You're probably looking at a reply sometime in January the following year. The Waiting Game is just not fun.

Every moment you wait, you think of all the reasons the person to whom you sent your manuscript must be wondering, "Why did I bother to request this submission? This isn't what I wanted, at all." You wonder when he or she will get back to you with the awful truth: you suck and you will never publish anything. You go back to the manuscript and realize everything's wrong with it.

To pass time, you consider drinking yourself into oblivion with punch or eggnog laced with a little something extra, cause after all the holidays are near. You also wonder if it would be best to trash the entire manuscript now, toss the computer out of the window, and just give up writing altogether. Or, you think whether you should just write to the person, apologizing profusely for offering him or her such drivel, vowing that someone, not you, pressed the Send button before you were actually ready to send it off, or swearing that though your full name is on the manuscript, and your last name is part of the header of every page, no, that is most certainly not your work, and must be someone's version of an awful joke.

Email becomes the center of your universe. You're furiously scanning your Blackberry, your PC at home, your workstation, every minute of every hour, just knowing that yes, today, today will be the day when someone emails you about the manuscript you sent off in those long weeks or months. Until then, you just wait some more.

Waiting.  Waiting....

4 comments:

Mirella Sichirollo Patzer said...

Oh, Lisa, my fingers are crossed and I'm waiting with you. Best of luck.

Sheila Lamb said...

Congratulations on your request for a full! Best of luck!!

Anita Davison said...

My fingers are crossed too, Lisa. This can only be encouraging for you. That's what you keep telling me!

Lisa Yarde said...

And, the wait is over. Good to know my work is admired. Now, if I could only get it published...

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