Waiting & Writing

I write almost every single weekday.  It’s the way I keep the ongoing story in mind and keep my focus.  But writing’s more than that.  It grounds me.  If I go too many days in a row, where life happens, and I don’t write, I start going into withdrawal.  I miss it.  Need it.  I love to write.

That said, I should clarify that I love the actual writing process–making character wheels,  plotting, writing and rewriting–putting words on paper,  rearranging them, then adding more words since I usually write too lean–taking care where my scenes are too skimpy with descriptions or I made the action too fast.  Then I love sending my polished draft to the friends I trust, who tell me what I missed, where I went wrong, and how to fix it.  And their comments lead me to my final, finished product.  But eventually, the day comes, when I’ve made every change I’m going to make and it’s time to send my spiffy manuscript into the cold, cruel world…and wait.

Waiting’s a part of writing.  A part I’m not fond of.  Sometimes, the wait’s short.  My agent gets back to me in two or three weeks.  Sometimes she’s swamped, and the wait’s longer–maybe two or three months, maybe more.  But long or short, it’s always miserable.  My mind can’t stop wondering, Will she like it?  Did it work?  Even when I push those thoughts away and start a new project, the ugly head of doubt squirms out of its hiding place late at night when I’m brushing my teeth for bed, or in the morning while I sip my coffee.  Not that Lauren has ever been anything but supportive and wonderful, but still….maybe this is the time I blew it.  Silly?  Maybe.  The truth?  Unfortunately, yes.

And then, when I hear back, and Lauren says the story’s ready to go, that it’s time to load it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and smashwords and more….  then I wait to see if anyone wants to read it and if they like it when they do.  And I think about how I can make the next book or story better.   And I love that story, the new one, the one I’m working on…until it’s time to send it out into the world.

I’m glad kids aren’t like stories.  I loved them when I raised them, and I loved them when they spread their wings and flew away.  I wish I could think  of my writing that way.  Maybe someday… if I made the New York Times top ten list…if I sold a kazillion copies all over the globe…but I doubt it.   I’d still know the things I could have done better.  If I’d had more action, faster pacing, a stronger theme….  But there aren’t too many perfect books.  And I’m pretty sure mine will never qualify.  Still, I’m awfully happy with my favorite authors, imperfections and all.  So maybe I need to cut myself some slack.  Besides, the story I’m working on right now is going really well…it’s one of my best…until it’s time to send it.

 

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7 thoughts on “Waiting & Writing

    1. I’d love to be able to buy your book on amazon! But there’s no hurry. Life happens, and marketing takes time. You don’t have a lot of that right now. But when you’re ready, let me know. And e-mail me with any questions, etc.

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  1. So that’s how it happens with you experienced writers. I’ve always wondered how exactly reels off the process from creation to publishing, those steps are very important. Those good friends that read your work and give you their honest opinions are priceless. I am really happy you sometimes find the time to read my blog, I don’t have many joys, and this is one of the greatest :). I hunger to learn from writers like you…you especially because we share the same fascination towards magic and fantasy :).

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  2. When I first started writing, I wrote whatever struck my fancy and then looked for a market to send it to. That stacks the odds really against you. If I’d have known a little bit more, I’d have gone online and searched under “markets for fantasy short stories” or some such thing, looked at what editors were buying, and then tried to write a story that might fit their magazine. But I always did that AFTER I wrote the story, and then I’d find somewhere that might work, and I’d send the story off with a short note like “Hope this works for you” and any qualifications I had at the time, like “I had a story in the Beekkeeper anthology 1994” etc. (You’d list that you’re a journalist and have a blog.) And then I’d wait–sometimes 4 or 5 months to hear back. Usually rejections. And only if I included an addressed, return envelope with postage. But little by little, I got stories accepted in anthologies that “paid in copies.” And then in anthologies that paid 3 cents a word, etc. until I finally got into some really good anthologies. You’re writing short stories right now. If I were you, I’d look to see if there are any magazines you could try them at. You’ll get lots of rejections at first, but that’s part of it. We all get them. But it pays to know what’s out there and to give them a try.
    And if you have any questions, ask me!

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  3. Thought I’d try sending you the Harlequin writing submissions site. http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=538&chapter=0
    I hope it opens to the right page. But I just typed “Harlequin writing submissions” into my search bar. If you follow the links at the top, they tell about every single line that Harlequin buys books or novellas for. I thought you might look at the Nocturne Cravings, because the stories are only 15,000 words long and they’re paranormal. But even if none of these interest you, it will give you a glimpse of the writing and submission process.

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    1. My cousin was in the hospital. She has cerebral palsy. Wanted to get my fanny up there to visit her everyday. But she was an awesome patient–got to go home yesterday. Looks and feels better than she has for months. Complete success!

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