Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Makin' Me Wait

Ketchup. Odd.
Remember that old glass bottle? The dorky commercial? Tapping the crap out of the side,
air-pocket and praying for gravity to work?
I've never been much on patience. In fact, I hate it. I hate waiting. I'm not too fond of Ketchup either. I'm a really big fan of the new, squeeze bottles.

Submitting a piece of writing to an: agent, periodical, publisher, is nerve wracking enough without throwing in a long, I mean really long, wait for a response. Unfortunately, a wait is exactly what you're gonna get.

I have a novel out, right now, that's been sitting somewhere for eight months. eight.
The publisher lists a waiting time of two to three months. Now, I could pester them.
It would be well within standard ethical procedure to send them a little query as to my manuscript's status. Do you think I'm going to?
Granted, I know they received it. They sent a lovely automated "we received your work, please wait" email. So it isn't lost in the mail. Still, eight months.

I'm a tad superstitious. I'm also convinced, in the neurotic recesses of my psyche, that, if I query about the novel's status, I will instantly get back a rejection.
I've opened my mail composer three times and stared at it without writing the query.
I can wait.

Publishers are, for the most part, inundated with submissions. I envision the editor's desk, piled with stack after stack of manuscripts screaming for attention. I understand the situation.
But I don't love it.
To complicate the problem, most editors frown on simultaneous submissions. (though some are starting to embrace it.) This means, while my novel sits on that desk, I shouldn't be sending it elsewhere. In this model, it could take me twenty years to get the thing published.

So... do I say, bollix to the rules and submit at several houses at once? Do I wait ten months for each rejection before shipping the lil bugger off again? Damned if I know, Kemosabe.
My solution so far has been to keep writing like a fiend. I have a handful, at this point, of finished (for the most part) pieces to keep in the mail. If that isn't stacking the odds in my favor, I don't know what will.
Keep writing. Write some more.
At least they fixed the Ketchup thing.

Good luck,

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