Cross your fingers but don’t hold your breath

boy turns blue holding breath
don’t hold your breath

One thing I’ve learnt over the last eight years of writing, and submitting what I’ve written to publishers, is not to hold my breath while waiting for a reply.

Publishing houses are extremely busy places and though our manuscripts are our precious, darling children and “‘works of genius” that should be read immediately before we pull out all our hair; the reality is that even requested materials are put into a huge pile and set to one side while the real business of getting already contracted books ready for publication is done. Editors read through the pile mostly in their FREE time, on the bus, on weekends, late at night. Which begs the question – do these poor buggers ever get to read a book they really like?
Meantime, we writers sit at home, checking emails as if we have obssessive compulsive disorder, jumping whenever the phone rings, nerves churning in our bellies, full of hope and doubt, grandiose fantasies of super best selling stardom and thoughts of throwing in the towel.
For me, the best cure for “Waiting to Hear” angst is to get stuck into the next project (which is maybe why I have quite a pile of manuscripts to send out!).
Fave suggests sending several different pieces out at once, so you’re not just focussed on one. W’hatever you do, stay busy.
Be hopeful. Dream big. But know that whichever way the penny eventually falls you’re going to be okay. The world doesn’t crumble into a heap with a rejection. Keep redrafting and searching for the perfect beholder of your work.In this business, everything takes a lot of time. Be patient.
Keep your fingers crossed. Just don’t hold your breath.
Write like furies everyone!



(0r some advice on life and writing)

 by Dr. Seuss

You can get so confused

That you’ll start in to race

Down long wiggled roads at a break necking pace

And grind on for miles across wierdish wild space

Headed, I fear, towards a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

Or a bus to come, of a plane to go

Or the mail to come, or the rain to go

Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

Or waiting around for a Yes of No

Or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

Or waiting for wind to fly a kite

Or waiting around for Friday night

Or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

Or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

Or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

Or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.


That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape

All that waiting and staying.

You’ll find the right places

Where Boom Bands are playing.

With banners flip-flapping,

Once more you’ll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky.

Hope that helps all of you out there waiting.

Waiting to hear back from agents, editors, publishers and readers about your work, whether it’s a yes or no, enthusiasm or polite dismissal, can be the most difficult part of a writer’s work. The trick is letting go of urgency, letting go of impatience and most of all , letting of any expectations for specific outcomes for our work. In order not to be endlessly distracted and hurt by the constant round of submissions and waiting we have to find a way to release those expectations and just keep on writing, because that’s what we do. Because we love it and find enough joy in the work itself to keep on going.

Easier said than done. But worth a try. Keep writing.

Even when we’re stuck in the dreaded “Waiting Place.”