Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Patience Truly is a Virtue - The Submission Process

There are a lot of writers out there who are in the middle of the submission process. During this time, patience is one of the absolute best virtues you can have.

So maybe you are just starting to query. It can take days to weeks before you hear anything. Or maybe you have already been querying extensively, and perhaps those queries are starting to yield some fruit. Maybe you have a few partials out there. Perhaps even a full or two. You are excited that an agent (or two, or three) has been intrigued by your novel and wishes to see more.

But now you must wait….

Remember, literary agents are extremely busy people, and their clients get top priority. Agents receive hundreds of queries and, at any one time, have a number of partials and fulls sitting on their desks or computers. They need time. Period.

This post is about what you do during this time of waiting. A time when patience is of more value than gold.   

Do you buy out the local DVD rental store and have a movie marathon? Do you leave town and take a vacation? Do you clean out the shelves of your local bookstore and bury your nightstand with lovely new books? Do you begin a new manuscript?

After all the waiting, what if those submissions come back as rejections? Don't get angry. Don't harass the agent over email or Twitter or whatever else you can think of. Don't lose heart. 

Use those rejections and learn from them. Fix what needs fixing, and grow as a writer. The submission process is just another step along the road. It can make you strong. Revel in it. Learn from it.

And most important.

Don’t. Stop. Writing.

Before I leave you, I have a picture that made me smile. I came across it on this post by Vickie Motter, literary agent with Andrea Hurst Literary Management.

Don’t you feel bad for him? Seriously?

He needs a hug.

Awww. Poor him.

Are any of you in the middle of the submission process? Are you close to submitting? What do you do when you must be patient? 


  1. Kristin,
    Great post (OMG, LOVE THE STORM TROOPER). Yeah, I'm kind of a Star Wars nerd!

    I'll be sending another story out into the wild-blue-yonder in the next couple of weeks or so.

    And it's hard to sit idle during the querying phaze. I normally have to work on another project, although I check my email 40,000,000 times a day (LOL).

    But I think it's hard as writers to "sit still". Because it's like our fate is in someone else's hands.

    Really enjoyed the post!

  2. Rebekah,

    So glad you enjoyed the post!

    Isn't the Storm Trooper great?? As soon as I saw him, I fell in love. :)

    Good luck with the querying of your newest novel! I'll be rooting for you! Keep me updated.

    Thanks for the great comment!

  3. So true--you can't just decide that the book you're querying is the ONLY book you'll ever write and let the agents decide if you'll ever be published. Write the next one--if all goes as planned, your fans will want to read more!

  4. Robin,

    Absolutely. The key is to just keep writing. Don't stop with book one, book two, or even book five. Keep learning and keep perfecting.

    Great comment! Thanks!