Feature Article: WAITING, WAITING, and, sigh, MORE WAITING
Recommended for Other Writers
Best Book(s) I’ve Read (for Entertainment) This Month
You’re hearing from me earlier than usual this month since I wanted to get this to you before we’re all plunged into holiday madness. (And me, back into revision madness.)
My first review is up on Contemporary Romance Writers’ website! In part it says, “SING ME HOME is the debut novel from Jerri Corgiat, and what a debut it is!” So, I’m a happy camper. If you’re interested in the full review (I just gave you the main highlight ), cut and paste the following addy: http://contemporaryromancewriters.com/review.cfm?bookID=5583
Once again, if you have any topics you’d like me to address, please feel free to email me: email@example.com
FEATURE ARTICLE: WAITING, WAITING, and, sigh, MORE WAITING
Writers have to be good at waiting. Well, they don’t have to be good at it, but it helps, since we do a lot of it. No matter what stage of the game we’re playing. This is a very hard lesson to learn for someone like me who has a finely-honed, well-developed sense of impatience.
When writing, we wait for ideas and inspiration and those wonderful epiphanies (that have a habit of exploding over your consciousness while you’re taking a shower and can’t write anything down). If we’re trying to land an agent, we send out queries, and then partial manuscripts, and then full manuscripts, and wait for responses. (Hoping to get more than a “No Thanks” scrawled across our carefully-crafted letter.) Once we do land that elusive agent, she sends out submissions. And we wait for the judgment of Editors-on-High. (And if it’s bad news, your agent will gently give you three minutes of comforting words—her interpretation of the “No Thanks” scrawled across her carefully-crafted letter. :o) )
But the waiting—all that nerve-wracking, speculative, nail-chewing time—stops when you get The Sale, doesn’t it?
Au contraire! It’s just starting!
Two weeks ago, I mailed my editor the manuscript for FOLLOW ME HOME, the second book that will feature one of the O’Malley sisters. Do I love it? Yes! Do I think she’ll love it? Geez, I hope so! But do I know when she'll read it? Nooooo!
Tomorrow, in two weeks, in two MONTHS, I could get one of three replies: “I love it! It only requires minimal revisions.” (Yeah, Jerri, dream on.) Or, “There are a lot of things I like about this book, but...” followed by tightly-spaced pages of revision suggestions. (The most likely scenario.) Or, the dreaded, “This doesn’t work for me.” Which is a nice way of saying, “This sucks. Eradicate this piece of garbage and start over.” (At which point, I consider a job at McDonald’s.)
Is waiting to hear any easier? Phhht. It’s worse. Worse because there’s more at stake. I have both my agent’s and editor’s expectations to live up to. I have contracted deadlines to meet. And, not least, my next check doesn’t come until I have my editor’s stamp of approval.
But more than those things (yep, even more than the money), I have an awareness that by the time FOLLOW ME HOME, in whatever guise, is published, I’ll have at least a few readers expecting me to move them, entertain them, or touch them in whatever way they were moved, entertained, or touched by SING ME HOME. And it’s those people I’m most concerned about. They’re forking over their money for my books... I don’t want to let them down. And the only indication of whether or not I will, will come from my editor’s reaction... next week, in two weeks... in two months.
So, I bide my time, working on promotional tasks for SING ME HOME, trying to stir the muse for Book Three, attempting to unearth my telephone in the hurricane of paper that’s blown through my office during my latest journey toward deadline. And I tell myself—just like I have a hundred bazillion times over the past five years—I have to be patient. Maybe, someday, I’ll actually know how to do that.
RECOMMENDED FOR OTHER WRITERS:
Valium. Just kidding. But when you’re playing the waiting game, you start thinking up all sorts of solutions!
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BEST BOOK(S) I’VE READ (FOR ENTERTAINMENT) THIS MONTH:
THE GRAVE MAURICE, by Martha Grimes
Martha Grimes has been around quite a while and is a renowned mystery writer... with good reason. This is the first sample I’ve read of her work, and while I suffered by not being intimately acquainted with the cast of characters she uses in her “Richard Jury” series, I very much enjoyed this book. How could I not when an author can come up with words like “Her hair looked fried in a pan, flat on top, frizzled on the sides?” For those who like a literary bent to their mysteries, this is for you.
Christmas Anthologies! They are too numerous to mention, but look on any bookrack and you’ll see them. It’s a great way to sample the writing of several authors for the price of one... Plus they help put me in the holiday spirit!
I have a ton to be thankful for this past year... a wonderful husband, a thriving and loving son, parents who are still managing on their own, a job doing something I love. I hope you have numerous blessings to count, too! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
Fiction for and about women rediscovering themselves