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  • Stella B James

And Now We Wait...

Waiting to hear back from an agent or an editor about whether your work has been accepted is probably the most nerve wracking thing for a writer. I used to check my email ten times a day, refreshing the thing like crazy. It, in turn, drove me crazy!


I've learned since then how to manage the wait time better, and I'm here to share them with you!


The top thing I'll do is start working on another project, whether that be a new short story, outlining new novel ideas, or editing another WIP. I submerge myself in another creative endeavor to help pass the time. This also makes me feel better in terms of productivity. I'm not one who enjoys sitting around with nothing to do. I like to keep busy with some kind of creative outlet.


Depending on what I've sent out, sometimes I will research other magazines to submit short stories to or other agents who might like the book I've written. If my submission does end in a rejection letter, I will have a Plan B for it, and will keep the process moving right along until it finds its home.


Sometimes, I'll dive right into reading other books. Nothing is better for a writer than reading books, right? Reading often helps inspire me to keep going or to write something else. I will usually write out a TBR list as I discover more books I want to read and tackle that list during a long waiting period.


Finally, I will switch to a different project all together. I might get back to those abandoned scrapbooks that need finishing. Or I'll get back into drawing. I might try a new hobby or throw myself into a new show.


Whatever it is, the trick is to keep your mind busy and satisfied. It's hard not to count down the days, hours, minutes, but it is possible! The number one thing you should never do is badger the agent or editor if they have read your manuscript and if they are accepting it. You're looking at a fast rejection on that one.


There are, however, instances where a magazine or agent will ask you to query again if a certain amount of time has passed. I usually tack on one more month to their wait time. So if they say to contact if three months have passed without a response, I'll wait four.


Acceptances are worth the wait. There is no better feeling than having your work accepted. And rejections may come from a long wait as well, but that just means it wasn't the right home for it and you need to keep shopping around. It'll be worth the wait in the end, you'll see.


After all, don't they say that good things come to those who wait?


Until next time, my loves.

xo Stella

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