Welcome to The (Writer’s) Waiting Room! As anyone who’s ever gotten stuck in a real life doctor’s waiting room with nothing good to read knows, the wait can turn into a vortex of wasted, unproductive time. It’s boring. And, unless you want to make friends with that guy in the corner who might–definitely, probably–have swine flu, it’s lonely too.
One of the main activities for writers is waiting: waiting to hear back from that magazine, journal, literary agent, publisher. As soon as we send out a submission or query letter, we set up camp in a new, torturous waiting room. If you’re really serious about writing, you’ve sent out materials to multiple places, constructing multiple waiting rooms.
Sometimes you know it’s going to 6-8 weeks. But, more often than not, you don’t even know how long the wait is going to be. It gets to the point that you don’t even care if there’s a slew of rejection letters waiting for you in the mailbox (or email), you just want to hear back from somebody–anybody–who has read your work.
The question becomes how do you distract yourself in the meantime. And the answer is…
Wait for it.
I’m designing the (Writer’s) Waiting Room to keep you company while you wait. I’ll provide as much information as I can about how long the wait is for specific publications, offer information about other journals and contests you should simultaneously submit to (stay productive!), and post links to other blogs, articles, and publishing trends that can help improve your craft, your submission tactics, and encourage you to keep writing while you wait!
What to Expect:
Slow Sundays: on the one day of the week with no mail delivery (and the highly unlikely chance of a journal sending out an email) I’ll tally up how long I’ve been waiting for certain journals to get back to me. And I’ll encourage you to chime in if you’ve submitted to the same journals and contribute to the statistics for how long the average wait-time is.
New Magazine Mondays: starting out the week fresh, I’ll give a little bio on a small journal accepting submissions. If you have a short story that fits the bill, submit there! I’ll also try to stick to journals I’ve personally submitted to so I can provide the expected wait time.
Writer’s Wednesdays: discussions on and links to articles and blog posts that writers should read. Hopefully some inspire you and it’ll be a good kick-off to give you some things to do the rest of your week.
Why Should Anybody Listen to Me?
I’m a writer. For those of you who need to know my credentials to trust me, I have work published or forthcoming in Inside Pennsylvania, The Stillwater Review, The Honors Review (available for viewing at http://honorsreview.wordpress.com/current/), and I recently won 2nd place in The Baltimore Review Creative Non-Fiction Contest. By no stretch of the imagination am I claiming to be an awesome guru or a well-published role model, but I love writing and I’m serious about submitting my work. With my excessive amount of submissions to various journals, I believe that I’ve scouted out a portion of the publishing market pretty well and I want to share what I’ve learned. At the very least, you can find out how long you might have to wait based upon my personal experience. Maybe it’s because we’re embarrassed about rejections, but I don’t think writers share this sort of information enough and I want to change that. So I encourage you to comment on my posts and share how long you’ve had to wait for responses (you don’t have to admit if it was acceptance or rejection, don’t worry!)
So, my main campaign is to keep busy while you wait.
Tune in if you want to join The (Writer’s) Waiting Room and stop waiting alone.