Playing the Waiting Game by Cassiel Knight

As a writer, I’ve learned and experienced a lot. I’ve met terrific people and built satisfying relationships. I’ve traveled to exotic lands and explored history (from the safety and comfort of my chair and computer, but I’ve still traveled). I’ve discovered an industry that is both exciting and, at times, painful.

But, the number one thing the publishing industry has taught me is patience. This industry, more than anything else I’ve done before (and others may disagree but that just means you have different experiences) is about playing the waiting game. Let me count the ways we authors wait in this industry.

We wait for:


  • contest deadlines
  • contest finalist announcements
  • scoresheets to be returned
  • the final judges to determine a winner
  • responses to queries
  • responses to partials
  • responses to fulls
  • the phone to ring with an offer of representation from an agent
  • the phone to ring with the offer to buy our story

Once Sold

  • the contract to be sent
  • revisions to the contract
  • the final contract with signatures
  • a release date
  • the cover art
  • edits
  • more edits
  • maybe more edits
  • release day

After your book comes out

  • reviews
  • royalties to be paid
  • the publisher to buy the second or option book
  • and the cycle starts all over again

See what I mean? I’m sure I’ve missed some but I think this does a fine job of illustrating how publishing is an endless waiting game. And this doesn’t even take into account what agents and editors wait for much less readers.

Here’s the thing. Playing the waiting game is still the best game I’ve played.

How do you keep yourself from going insane while you are waiting?


Posted on September 15, 2011, in General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You are so right about the waiting game and patience. It is difficult and it can cause you to question yourself, your abilities, and your sanity on a regular basis.

    For me, the only thing that keeps me sane (or as sane as I can manage on any one day) is letting go of the book and writing the next one. If I obsess over when will the editor/agent call, when will the Amazon numbers look better, when will the royalty statement come, when…when…when… then I will never get any other writing done.

    Just right the next book, and the next one, and the next one. Have a good tracking system that you update whenever something occurs, but keep writing.


    • Maggie, I agree that writing the next ones goes a long way to easing the wait but for me, it just lingers there, you know? It’s there when i check email, when I get a text, etc. I may not stress or agonize over the waiting, but it’s always there. And this field has definitely taught me to wait. And be patient. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


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