Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Keeping Busy While You Wait

Astronomical Clock detailPatience is the trait that I admire most.

Unfortunately, it’s one of the traits I’m lacking. :)

Actually, I think if I had to name my biggest fault, it would be my lack of patience. I’m always moving, restless. I have trouble sitting still…even when I write. I’ll frequently “write” in my head while I’m doing housework or errands.

And publishing? It moves veryyyyy slowwwwly.

There’s actually not a single area of the publishing industry that I can think of that moves quickly. Querying? Very, very slow. Contract agreements? Slow. (Usually back and forth between agent to editor a couple of times before getting to us to sign.) Edits? Pretty slow, again mostly due to the back-and-forth nature of it and the need for thought in regards to changes. Book production…oh Lord. That’s the slowest of all.

Of course, it takes time to write a book, too. :) Some of the time, they’re all waiting on me.

Actually, for most published authors that I know, the process is wait, wait some more, waaaait, then…hurry! Hurry! Make the deadline! Then waaaait. Then there’s an insane rush around release time that lingers.

But I never think about the waiting. I’m never anxiously wondering what stage of production my book is in.

I’d ordinarily be the worst person in the world with all the waiting…except that I’m so very busy writing books and working on promoting them.

My mother sometimes will ask me, “Now when is your book coming out? Everyone is asking me!” I’ll tell her it’s June and she’ll exclaim over the wait. And…each time I’m surprised by her reaction. It hasn’t felt that long on my end. For one, I think I’m just getting used to it.

But really, it’s just my busyness. Who has time to think?

Unfortunately, publishing wasn’t designed with impatient types in mind.

I think, if we spend too much time thinking about the wait—particularly if we’re waiting to hear back from queries—then it just makes things worse. I can’t think of a single productive internal monologue that I’ve had when I’ve felt impatient and anxious. They always end up making me feel worse.

If you’re waiting on something to do with publishing …have you tried writing another book? What else do you do to keep yourself busy while you wait? And, since I'm curious today, what part of the writing/publishing loop are you currently focusing on--writing, querying, releasing, promo, or all of them?