The Waiting Game

So, one manuscript is done (are they ever, really?) and is navigating its way through the netherworld of publication or rejection. Each click of the “send” button brings with it a wave of hope, excitement, and terror. And so it begins – the waiting game, that is.

What’s a writer to do? I gifted myself a well-deserved break from my computer. I binge-watched Outlander, grabbed my pruners and ventured into the yard that had transformed to a jungle in my absence, and finished a stitching project that had been languishing in my craft corner. I willed my brain to take a break from writing, or thoughts of writing. It was a good break, but a temporary one at best. The creative mind is a willful, scary thing sometimes.

I made the decision months ago that my just-completed middle-grade novel would be the first in a series of three. Then, I questioned the sanity of my decision countless times as I slogged through the drafts and edits of the first one. Was I nuts? Who willingly submits themselves to this kind of torture and frustration? And not only did I do it once – I’d committed myself to at least two more long-term sentences. Sure, I could quit with the first novel. Physically not write the other two. But my brain would never let me rest, and the characters from the first novel would never forgive me. And, I have to admit, there were times of great elation, satisfaction, and pride in what I was creating.

The ideas swirling around in my brain need to be reined in and set to paper (or screen). It’s begun. Novel number two, that is. While I await the fate of my queries and submissions, I bravely venture forth with my plot clock, outlines, and scene drafts. I’ve learned a lot about my process and how I write, so I think subsequent works will find their way to draft form with less gnashing of teeth and hair-pulling. I’ll meet with my editor to ensure I’m on the right track. Then, I’ll get to it. That’s how, as a writer, I wait.



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