Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hang in There

Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

I’ve been told that from Thanksgiving through February publishing houses are not a busy place. No hurrying and waiting,  not many phones ringing, and just plain unproductive. I can understand this happening during the holidays and until January 2. I’ve been told that January and February are good times to submit to publishers and agents. I guess so, since publishing all but shuts down during that time (so I’ve been told).

If the lull between Thanksgiving and February truly happens then the equation I come up with is that it takes three-four more months writers have to wait. If I were asked by an unpublished author for one bit of advice for their writing career I would answer flat out: you have to be patient and not get discouraged.

A writer spends months, maybe years, to complete and polish a novel, submit it to an agent or publisher, and then wait to receive a response. Any response, good or bad, just please let me hear from  you.

This situation in publishing is akin to going to the doctor. You sign in at the front desk, giving your name and your appointment time. You take a seat expecting to be called back shortly because you came in at your appointment time. But then you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Sometimes your’re told the doctor had an emergency at the hospital and will return soon. And, hey, you know what? If it were me having an emergency at the hospital I’d sure appreciate the doctor checking on me instead of coming by after his office hours. I honestly would.

So, as a writer waiting to hear from a publisher, try to keep positive thoughts. I agree that’s difficult. But the publisher may be just finishing all the work required for another manuscript and ours is next in the pile. And when the publisher opens our manuscript we should be grateful if he gives it as much attention as he did the previous one.

While we’re waiting, and even if you receive a rejection, a good step would be to start your next book and continue learning the craft of writing. I hope you’re patient and positive. Neither can hurt you and might help you in the long run.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes
                             off your goal.”—Henry Ford

Till next time … keep on smiling.

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