The first thing you learn about the traditional publishing world is that the time-space continuum actually follows different rules. Einstein forgot about the Writing Theory of Relativity:
PA=IWT - T1/2H
and it's corollary: IWT=AWT x 10
(That's Published Author=Imagined Writing Time minus half a head of hair (from stress, of course)).
And Imagined Writing Time = Actual Writing Time (time it takes to conceive an idea, write, revise, revise and then revise) x 10. Obviously.
So what to do with all that waiting time? Here are a few words of advice, depending on which stage of the game you're in.
1. Have Shiny, New Idea and afraid it will take a millennium to produce first draft.
Stop wasting your time reading my blog. Go write.
2. Have First Draft, now letting it ferment happily while waiting for the revision stage.
Ah, the abyss between stages. Now is the time to throw away the dead fish in your fish tank because you were too busy writing your first draft to feed them. Also, clean house. Compost dying house plants. Feed self. Feed children. Shower. Remember that stuff?
3. Done revisions, waiting for crit-partner/beta feedback.
Now is a fun time to read other books, so you can compare yourself to other writers.
It will either
A) feel like you're yanking off fresh, new scabs (if the book is awful, because hey, it's taking forever to get your far more excellent stuff out there) OR
B) feel like you're yanking off fresh, new scabs (because the books you're reading are so kick-ass it tortures you).
4. Querying, waiting for Agent Demigods to respond to you.
Go seek therapy. What did you think I'd say? Go seek a beer? For goodness sake, I can't be responsible for making a bunch of alcoholic writers. Yeesh.
5. Waiting for Agent Demigods to read your manuscript after partial/full requests.
Have therapist move into your house. Seriously. Hey, did you shower yet? Is that an empty beer bottle in your sink?
6. Waiting for Publishing Deities to buy your manuscript.
No idea what this feels like. Since I have an imagination, I'd guess that fire ants and vinegar on flayed skin might feel better than this particular stage.
7. Waiting for Shiny, New Book to emerge on the market for purchasing.
Okay, I have no sympathy for you guys. This is where you need to buy ME a beer. Or bacon. Or chocolate.
I'm probably missing a few stages here, and I know I didn't include the journey made by those amazing souls who have circumvented traditional publishing to get their stuff directly out there.
In any case, the therapist now living in my basement bathroom thanks you for letting me vent.
Please take a moment and visit Deb Salibury's blog, where she answers this month's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question on how to deal with the loss of your writing mojo! Check out Laura's previous post and mine (Writing Mojo No Mo), and Sarah Fine's!