The life of a writer is filled with episodes of waiting in between periods of frantic composing and revising. No one ever mentioned that in any job description I read.
Write, write, write. Send off to critique group members. Wait, wait, wait.
Revise, write, revise, write. Send off to beta readers. Wait, wait, wait.
Revise, write, revise, write. Send queries to agents and/or editors. Wait, wait, wait.
Write something new. Write, write, write. Still waiting on query responses.
Send something new to critique groups. Still waiting on query responses. Waiting for critique group feedback.
Joy, joy, joy. Send full ms. to agent or editor. Wait, wait, wait.
Let me fast forward here to the signed contract. First draft is being edited. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
This time the wait is different. You’re under contract. It’s going to happen. This time, though, the wait means someone else is deciding what works and doesn’t work, what should be cut, where you need to add material. This time it’s not a critique group or beta reader. This is for real.
I am in the waiting game with editors for two manuscripts. I can’t help myself. I check hourly (for weeks now, mind you!) to see if the manuscript is back on my turf ready for me to take another whack at it.
I am terrified. What if what I am asked to do is beyond my scope? What if I can’t add more dramatic tension or tie subplot lines into the main plot? What if . . .?
So I wait. Not knowing. Worried.