The Waiting Game

I hate waiting. I know I’ve got to get over that if I’m going to make it in this business, and you’d think after eight years, I’d be used to it, but I’m not. (I almost didn’t write those words because they feel like BEGGING for the rejections to roll in Monday morning.)
This is my eighth anniversary of collecting rejections and still I get antsy around the third month of submission. I have partials at Kensington and Super. The Kensington submission is my first foray into the world of Single Title. It’s hot. It’s fun and I had a blast writing it. 🙂
The Super is angsty. It runs the full gamut of emotions and I love that book. It makes me cry everytime I read it. I’m not sick of it yet, and that’s saying a lot.
At least I think it’s saying a lot.
Way back when I started, I never thought I’d be here. I’ll never forget attending my second conference and talking to a lady in the bathroom. She was a multi-pubbed author whose publisher was getting dragged through the mud on a regular basis. When she told me who she wrote for, I was stunned. At the time I was fixing my lipstick. I looked at her in my smug unpublished state and said, “Wow. I’ve heard so many bad things about them. It must really stink to write for a house that treats their writers like that.”
Now, I can’t believe I spoke the words outloud. At the time I was young and completely unaware of the realities of commercial fiction. I had two requested fulls and a requested partial on H/S editor desks and I was absolutely certain one of those editors was going to call and offer me a million dollar advance for my greatness. (LIke I said, I was completely unaware!)
I have no idea who the author was. Back then I only knew two authors’ names. Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Margot Early. I read lots of others, but if either of them had a book out, I bought them immediately.
It was probably someone super famous like Jo Beverly or Stella Cameron. I remember she was British. Thankfully she understood my ignorance because she just laughed and said “I remember a time when I would’ve paid to have one of my books published! Actually, my publisher pays me well and it beats getting up and going to work in the mornings.”
I had no idea what she meant but I felt sorry for her. She was happy to work for XYZ because she was so desperate for publication. (UGH!)
Now, after all these years and tons of rejections, I’m starting to understand.
I keep reading all the Publish America stories making the papers across the country and I wonder why someone would give their work away, but then a rejection comes in the mail and I wonder why not? It’s better than letting the work sit in a drawer or under the bed or in a filing cabinet.
Like I said at the beginning I HATE playing the waiting game. It’s definitely a part of the business, but it leads me to thoughts like these. I know what I should be doing: trying to connect with my new characters in my new book that have completely befuddled me! Instead I remember the good ol’ days when I read voraciously but never knew who or what sub-genre I read. (Women’s Fiction! What’s that?) When I loved H/S lines, but didn’t even know the authors. When GMC were just letters of the alphabet and people who studied them were crazy! When I waited for 9 or 10 p.m. when I could finally sit down at the computer, turn on the Ozzy or Heart or Van Halen and blast it while I wrote like a maniac, totally immersing myself in my make-believe world and forgetting all about my family or my reality. Back then nothing about writing was hard. It was joyous. It was exciting. It was awe-inspiring.
And rejections were unthought of. Waiting was no big deal because it was just more time to write more books to give to the editor who was going to be blown away by my incredible talent.
I guess I miss that young newbie me.
Hopefully though as I’ve grown, my talent has grown. And maybe this time, I won’t get the rejection. As long as I’m playing the waiting game, I don’t know.

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