The Wait

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by Loretta Eidson

The moment months of character building, plotting, and creativity end, anticipation builds. The novel is complete. With outstretched arms, take in a deep breath, shout for joy, and celebrate the success of a long writing journey. The sense of accomplishment feels grand.

The next step is writing a lengthy synopsis and proposal. You tap away at the keyboard. Delete, write, delete. Start over. Write and edit again until it’s as perfect as possible, then off it goes by email to your critique group.

The wait for their comments begins. Get a cup of coffee. Return to the computer and scroll through multiple messages. Nothing. Load the dishwasher, throw a meal together and put it in the slow cooker. Go back and check email again.

Days pass before the inbox fills with responses to your submission. You eagerly open each message with anticipation of everyone’s accolades of a job well done. However, all the red marks jumping from the screen require a medicine cabinet full of Band-Aids.

Take in a breath. It wasn’t perfect. Time to ponder each comment, refocus, and make the changes. The Band-Aids fall off after re-reading your work and finding a more professional piece. Confidence wells up, knowing the time spent editing was worthwhile and perseverance always pays off.

Butterflies bump against your stomach as your finger hits the Send button. All that hard work, the months, weeks, days, and hours spent pouring into a manuscript is now in the hands of an agent or editor.

You pace, wipe sweaty hands on your pants, bite your lip, and try pushing away the constant gnawing in your gut. Questions arise.

Did you…

  • Follow the guidelines exactly as stated?
  • Use the right Font and Font size?
  • Format the document correctly?
  • Space down far enough on each new chapter page?
  • Add page numbers?
  • Write a powerful hook?
  • Use too many tag lines?
  • Shift point-of-view in the middle of a chapter?
  • Use active voice instead of passive?
  • Tie up and resolve all the loose ends within the novel?

Your heart hammers against your chest. Time to take a walk, read a book, or go out with friends to diffuse nervous energy. Checking email fifty times a day won’t make a response come any sooner. In fact, most of the time, emails aren’t the desired reply. Those usually contain a rejection. A phone call offers a more positive response, so your cell goes with you everywhere, even in places where it’s unnecessary.

The desire to keep writing regardless the results of your last submission pushes a new project into action. With email open and the phone within reach, you dive in and begin the next manuscript while waiting.

Weeks and months go by and the wait continues. Doubts arise. It’s taking too long. Prepare for the elusive negative email, all the while praying you’ve assumed wrong. But then, there it is. Rejection. Like a punch in the gut. Is it time to quit? Not hardly.

  • Study the reason for rejection if given.
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Learn how to improve your writing.
  • Be resilient and stay positive.
  • Read in your genre.
  • Don’t give up.

Regardless of the difficulties in writing, the desire to pen a compelling story that will stir the hearts of readers keeps you pressing forward. A true author purposely steps back into the same process repeatedly, never giving up because one day that diligence will pay off.

“Regardless of the difficulties in writing, the desire to pen a compelling story that will stir the hearts of readers keeps you pressing forward.” @lorettajeidson #ACFWBlogs #writetips #ChristianFiction #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet

Loretta Eidson is an award-winning author who loves writing romantic suspense. Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency is her agent. Loretta is a member of ACFW, BRMCWC, RWA, SinC, and HACWN. She loves chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Loretta lives in Olive Branch, Mississippi with her husband, Ken, a retired Police Captain. Visit her on her website or Facebook.




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