If you’re still with me after reading that title, then you’re probably not the person who needs to read this. The person who needs to read this post took one look at the title, decided he didn’t have time for this, and went back to his query letter explaining that his novel is the next great American classic and the publisher will be crazy to turn him down. Two months from now, that same guy will self-publish because no one ‘gets’ him.
Whoa, buddy. Slow down. Take a breath.
W is for Waiting
Patience is a virtue…it’s just not mine. I lived by that mantra for years. I’m naturally a quick moving person (I don’t know how anyone can stay in the shower for 20 minutes, much less spend an hour eating – it’s not that complicated!). Over the years, however, I’ve learned that there’s a difference between slow and patient. That’s good news for me, because writing and publishing are all about being patient.
Even if you’re a speedster, consider three months to write a novel. A week to send out queries. A week before an agent responds. Three months before anyone is looking at your novel. Another few months before they set a publishing date. By now over half of your year is gone, and this is the most unrealistic example I’ve ever read.
Randy Ingermanson looks at writing like your years in high school. It takes four – four – years before you’re ready to graduate to the level of published author. That’s 48 months of working, studying, working, crying, working, studying more. Four years of your life with nothing to show for it, except that eventual book contract.
Now I’ve never signed a book contract, so I don’t know how it feels, but I imagine it will be worth all of this time and effort…and waiting. It will be worth it to know that I’ve applied my talents and someone eventually recognized it. I don’t know if that’s true, but I hope so. In the meantime, I’m gonna keep working and waiting.
Wait, Writer. Wait.
QUESTION: How long did it take you before you got your contract? Why did you stick with it?