Sunday, February 25, 2007

Neverending patience

One thing I've learned over the years about writing is that you have to be patient if you ever want to be published. Editors and publishers take weeks or months, sometimes even years, just to glance at your manuscript. And then there's a high percentage chance they are just going to slip your story into the trash and mail you a form rejection letter.

I don't blame editors and publishers for this. They receive hundreds, if not thousands, of short story or novel manuscripts each month. And they can't spend all their time dredging through the ole slush pile. They have other things to do.

But sometimes it becomes frustrating for the writer. And sometimes being patient can work for the author. Of late, for example, I have been way too busy to do any writing (and only a little editing of the third novel in my trilogy). So, in a lot of ways, I feel unproductive as a writer. But ... I have a novel at Baen; it's been there for months, and will probably be there for months. While this could seem frustrating, for me it is a bit of relief. Why? Because while I know I can't do a lot of writing work right now, at least my manuscript is still out there working it. Even if it's just sitting on a desk, or in a file on a server, each day means it's getting closer and closer to being considered.

Meanwhile, I'll keep doing the little bit of editing I can accomplish. When my life gets straightened out again, then I'll get back to writing more.

Until then, I can always dream.


cyn said...

woo! keep the dream alive, ty!! i have to admit, i have no patience. ack!!

Ty said...

Ah, don't fool yourself, cyn. You have patience. You have to to be a mother, and to be a writer.
You didn't think you would ever get that first draft finished, but you did, didn't you?
Now comes the proofreading, re-writing and editing part, which has its own rewards.

Anonymous said...

Ty: I'm glad Baen will get to see your work -- I think they will like it.

One piece of advice from a guy who has butted his head up against that same wall -- stay on them. Keep in contact. Baen managed to lose my MS twice since it's original submission. So get a name, nudge them every few months ago and at least make them acknowledge that "Yeah, we've got it. It's coming up in the queue."

Oh, yeah, and take it with a grain of salt -- OK, a whole damned salt lick -- whenever they tell you "Yep, I'll be reading it this month ..."

-- Steve

Ty said...

Steve, thanks for the advice about Baen. I've been keeping an eye on them. I check every couple of months or so, and they still have my novel. In fact, last time I checked, one of the editor's even moved my novel up a little because I was considered a "Baen barfly." I've only ever posted maybe four times on their site, but I didn't want to argue with her.

If Baen falls through, then Daw is next. If that doesn't work out, I was hoping to send it to Night Shade, but they haven't accepted manuscripts in a while.

But even if no publishers are interested, I can keep trying with agents.