It feels like all I’m doing. Waiting. Waiting to hear back on the status of my works. On if it even “works.” Waiting for November, for the full-tilt NaNoWriMo madness I love and dread every year.
Last October, I entered my first book, Alt.World, a science-fiction dystopia, into the insane HarperVoyager open submissions cattle call. I figured, “why not?” I had it edited, had sent it around for queries and got lots of rejections, gotten disheartened and set it aside. But I still love it (do you ever not love your works, even if they don’t take off?) so I figured it was worth a shot at one of the 12 digital titles Harper Voyager crazily said they’d take from open calls.
Except they got way more of a response than they expected–more than 4,500 entries in two weeks. So that kind of blew their whole timeline, and they said it would take longer. So I put on my patience hat and worked more on Undead Rising, my second novel, a zombie-survival gamebook.
In May, they said they’d read through and rejected 3,595 of those submissions, leaving 948 in their “further review” pile. I hadn’t heard anything–I’m in the further review pile. So that was exciting, and I was content to keep waiting. After all, they promised to check in more frequently.
It’s the end of August, and no further updates. I’m checking my junk email folders twice a day out of pure paranoia. The internet rumors say maybe they’re down to fewer than 400, but no one seems to know for sure and I won’t take it as gospel until they say so. Here’s hoping they haven’t forgotten/overlooked mine somehow.
And then there’s the manuscript for Undead Rising, which two agents seemed excited about at DFW Writers’ Convention in May, resulting in two glorious requests for fulls. It’s hard not to pester them (okay, I pester a little. Just a “hey, how’s it going?” email once every month. Just one sentence, I swear. Teensy pester…).
It’s hard to wait.
My writing brain can’t live in the same space as my business brain, it seems; I have to switch one off to work on the other. And lately, with all this waiting, my business brain has been fussing at me a lot.
Any suggestions for winning at the Waiting Game, folks? I felt like I was doing well at patience, but it’s starting to wear on me by now. Let me know your advice in the comments.