While you’re waiting on Project #1, start Project #2.
If you’d like to receive new Second Stage posts by email, please click the button below to subscribe. Subscriptions are free unless you choose to pay:
The most frustrating stage in the life of many projects involves waiting for a third party to take action. As Tom Petty sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.”
Waiting is on my mind right now because I have a few writing projects under publisher review, and the publication process is maddeningly slow and uncommunicative.
The norm for writers is to not hear anything back from the publishers to whom one submits work. If you do hear back, it is usually through a form rejection notice. Here are the possible publisher responses to a writing submission, in order of likelihood:
No response or acknowledgment at all.
A form acknowledgment that the submission has been received, followed by silence.
A form rejection notice.
A personal (human-written) rejection notice, perhaps with an explanation.
A statement from a human that your work is being seriously considered, and that the publisher will get back to you at some time in the future.
An acceptance notice.
I have two book proposals — Elegant Legal Writing as well as Fluent Kanji, a guide to learning Japanese script — under review with academic publishers. So I am waiting anxiously for news but have little information about how long the reviews should take.
Waiting has always been difficult for me, but here is my coping strategy: while one project is stuck at the “waiting” stage, move a different project forward or start a new one. Sometimes I can parlay my frustration at waiting into a burst of productive energy.
Ryan McCarl is an attorney and educator in Los Angeles who is committed to lifelong learning and growth. If you’d like to receive my new posts by email, please click the button below to subscribe. Subscriptions are free unless you choose to pay: