I never thought of myself as a patient person until I became an author. Everything takes quite a long time to accomplish. The results are worth it, of course, you have a shiny new book with your story wrapped neatly inside. BUT! The waiting is difficult. One of my writing buddies likens it to being “as much fun as eating that leftover bean casserole that’s been in the fridge for a month.” Yum. The key to success is having wisdom and patience.
Writing isn’t for whimps or speed demons. It takes a lot of time to write and edit a book for publication. Sometimes years, if you have a full time job, family, home and yard to care for. Once it’s done you begin querying agents or publishers and you wait some more. Many of them are really good about responding within a month or three. But some are SO busy that it might take a year and an occasional reminder to get the “final answer” (usually, no thank you).
Once you have an agent they will help you do any last minute polishing while they shop your manuscript to publishers. Hum. Waiting again, only this time – you’ve got company! I don’t have an agent yet, so when I shopped my manuscript to publishers – you guessed it – I had to wait for them to review it and the hundreds of others in the pile.
Once you have a contract you’ll be busy polishing up the manuscript yet again, preparing jacket copy, getting a new photo for the cover, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to help chosing the cover art. The actual time from contract to shelves for FEISTY FAMILY VALUES was 18 months. It seemed like forever when I signed the contract, but I got busy with all of the above and began making marketing plans and researching media and venues for signings. All while I wrote my second manuscript (PATCHWORK FAMILY). Time passed fairly quickly.
PATCHWORK is looking for an agent or publisher as we speak. I have several queries out. Meanwhile, I’m taking advantage of the time and writing my third manuscript, with brand new characters and situations. (Wisdom) Oh, and I’m “waiting”.
It’s not a game really, and it isn’t always fun, but I’m not about to compare it to a casserole that will make me sick for a week. Let’s just say it’s a little like watching someone stinky consume your lunch.