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Writing almost seems like the easy part.  The hard part is the way waiting sucks your will to live, and writing involves a great deal of waiting.

Get a group of writers together and that’s the dirge we will sing in four-part harmony.  The waiting is a killer.

It all starts small and diffusely.  You’re waiting for one of dozens of agents to respond to your query.  Then it snowballs and intensifies.  You’re waiting for a handful of agents to read your manuscript and offer representation.

Once you have an agent, you’re waiting for revision notes.  You’re waiting for the book to be submitted to publishers.  Then you’re waiting for an editor to decide whether they want to buy your book.   And you’re waiting and you’re waiting.

If you should be so fortunate as to get through those hoops, you’re waiting again.  For the publisher to send corrections, for the galley proofs, for someone to decide on cover art and title.  Then you’re waiting for your ARCs and for the book to be released and for reviews and sales numbers and book signings and tours and your appearance on Oprah.  (Don’t lie, you’re totally waiting for that.)

Even if all of that goes smoothly (and how often do things go smoothly?), you may well end up right back at the beginning of the waiting game.  Waiting to finish the next book, to see if your agent can sell it, or even if your agent will represent it.

It’s a strange game and one that only a masochist would indulge in.  A kind of literary mumblety-peg.  Even if you win, it doesn’t mean you get to go home without a limp.

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