Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
One of the most frustrating things about publishing is how long things can take. Authors and agents are always waiting for things that are out of our control, and often the waiting becomes excruciating. As an author who is anxious for the next step in your career—anything from a response to a query to seeing your book on a bookstore shelf—a day can seem like a year.
I’m not going to get into the reasons things seem to move slowly, but I want to offer this suggestion: Refuse to let the waiting get the best of you!
Waiting for something you deeply desire can distort your thinking. It can make you believe, “This is never going to happen for me” even when, objectively, there is still plenty of room for hope (and hard work). When publishers aren’t responding favorably to your proposals, you might wonder if you should just give up. When your agent has done a deal with a publisher but it’s taking a long time to get the actual contract, you may convince yourself the publisher must have changed their mind.
You will be telling yourself, “Something is wrong. It couldn’t possibly take this long!”
But in publishing, unfortunately… yes, it really can take that long.
Waiting isn’t fun, and it can be really hard. But if you look at it from a distance, you can see that it has its benefits. Author Addie Zierman wrote recently on her blog, How to Talk Evangelical, about getting her first book contract. She had worked for several years on the book, and from the time she finished it to the signing of her contract, it took nearly four more years. She wrote:
…I felt the wait.
I need to say this because I know some of you are writers. Some of you are waiting for this thing to happen, and it’s not happening, and it feels really hard and tender – a purpling bruise that keeps getting elbowed by other people’s good news.
But I also need to say that I was changed in the waiting, and that these years have been so good for me. I learned things about God and about myself. It has been a softening. It has been a deepening.
…There were a lot of almost-fits along the way, but I feel this deep sense of rightness here. This is where I’m supposed to be.
But it took a while to get here, and I want to tell you who are in the aching, waiting place to take heart. This is just part of it for most of us. You will get there.
If you are in the waiting place, please take these words seriously. I know you hear them and understand them, but in those crazy-making moments when you feel you’ve finally, fully run out of patience, you’ll forget them. And there you’ll be, telling yourself to give up because your dream is never going to come true. Don’t let yourself go there!
Fill your waiting times with continued hard work, learning, and new ideas. Always be moving forward. And don’t let the waiting convince you to quit.
Tell us about your times in the waiting place. Have you ever given up, or wanted to? How does the waiting affect you, and how do you keep your spirits up?
Authors—don’t let the waiting get the best of you! “The Waiting Place” via @RachelleGardner. Click to Tweet.
In publishing… yes, it really can take that long. “The Waiting Place” via @RachelleGardner. Click to Tweet.
Are you in the waiting place? Are you tempted to give up? Share your story. Click to Tweet.