Romance By Catherine: Hurry up and wait

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hurry up and wait

When I first started writing, I was in an all fire hurry to finish my manuscripts. Maybe because I wanted to know that I could complete a book, or maybe because if I didn’t hurry I’d put it aside and never complete it. Then when the book was written, I rushed through edits. (big mistake) Then I rushed to make and send out the dreaded synopsis and query letters. As rejection after rejection came in I realized that I needed to slow down… take my time and learn so much in order to make it in this business.

I take much more time writing that first draft these days, and even longer to work through edits. My work then goes to a trusted CP who I’ll wait for as long as it takes to hear back from. Then I’ll re-work my manuscript until she shines.

Once the query / synopsis / and partial is sent off its time to wait again. No matter how long it took me to get to this point, the wait is hard. However, if I didn’t take the time in my earlier steps then chances are this wait will be in vain and I’ll be revising something before a contract is offered.

So here I am… Four lovely contracts overshadow any and all rejections I’ve had in the past and still I’m waiting. Binding Vows is with a second final reader and I don’t yet have a release date. Kilt Worthy is with my editor for more edits, Soul Mate is in line and edits haven’t even begun, and last but certainly not least… Before the Moon Rises, is in line as well and waiting for that first pass of edits.

Here I was all worried when my contracts were coming in last November and December that I would have a hard time juggling edits with all these titles being contracted at once. Instead of growing grey hair, I’m once again waiting.

Publishing is most definitely a business of hurry up and wait. I’m told that once the book is finally on the shelf, and sales start trickling in there is still a feeling of… “wait…did my review come in?... wait… did I sell anything today? Wait…Wait… Wait…”

I’m not a patient person. But I’m doing so much better than I did last year at this time. There is no reason to hurry in this business. Just be the tortoise and crawl along toward the goal and you’ll find yourself there. With all your hair in place and none of it peppered with grey.


Angel Martinez said...

Ech. You're right, of course. Patience is part of the job, unfortunately. Though how the waiting is handled varies wildly from publisher to publisher.

Gives us time to start that next story ;)

Catherine Bybee said...

It sure does, Angel.

Kaye Manro said...

Very good post, Catherine. And it's oh so true. Good advice for those who are in a hurry. We have to learn to play the waiting game. Now I think I'll go and pull my hair out while I wait to hear back from my edits as well!

Catherine Bybee said...

It really is hard to wait... Even thought you have no other choice.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Catherine! ;))

Destiny Blaine

Shelley Munro said...

LOL Catherine. I think the longer I'm in the writing business, the more impatient I become. I'm terrible! I'm waiting to hear back on agent queries at the moment, and it's driving me nuts. I'm still working on other projects though, so I guess all is not lost.

Aithne Jarretta said...


Hang in there. You'll get through this. ;o)

~ Aithne (still prone...groan...)

Helen Hardt said...

This is so true! And I'm the most impatient person on earth, LOL. Definitely in the wrong business, but still I plug along doing what I love. It depends on the editor, too. Some are rapid fire with getting edits back to you, and some slow as molasses. It's actually probably a good thing all your edits didn't come in at the same time, like all your contracts did, or you'd be swamped ;).


Anonymous said...

Seriously, Catherine, I'm so proud of you! I remember following your work from Myspace and you have come so far! I truly wish you the best of luck with all of your future works. You've earned it!

As for's well over a year to complete my MS. Yup, and that's not even with a contract. That's just my own personal need to be a perfectionist. Great post.

Christina Phillips said...

Like Shelley, I've become more impatient the longer I've been subbing! When I started out, targetting Harl M&B, I thought nothing of waiting up to a year to hear back on a partial. A year! Now I get grouchy after just a few weeks! It's a crazy biz!!!

Kealie Shay said...

I'm in that beginning phase... except I can't really say I'm in a hurry. I trust those who have critted my work... so I'm reworking. LOL

I guess I AM in a hurry to get finished, but I don't relish the thought of rejections... I hope I can take my time. :-)

Great post, as usual, hon.

Lauri said...

Great post, Catherine, and so true! But all that waiting is so worth it, isn't it?