From the time when we were eagerly awaiting dessert after being forced to eat our vegetables, to the time when we’re anxiously waiting for the results of a test… A phrase has been drilled into us. What is that phrase? Well, you already know, but I’ll repeat it for good measure. “Patience is a virtue.”

It is a virtue that I’m not really known for, to be honest. I am not patient. I’m impatient when waiting for a new episode of Psych or Big Bang Theory, and I’m impatient for my Birthday. So, how do I handle waiting for results when submitting my writing to be judged and rejected/accepted?

Fair warning, I’m not sure if this works for all writers. It may just work for me, but let me talk about the times when I had to wait to find out whether or not I was accepted or rejected. The first time I had to do this with my writing was the Fantasy Faction Anthology. There was a short story contest, and if I had won, I would’ve gotten lots of cash. Of course, I also wanted my story to be showcased alongside some bona fide, professional authors. So, in one day, I wrote two different short stories set in my current fantasy universe.

The first was a change for me. It was more insightful and ‘quiet’, I should say, than any of my other works. The second was a safety net, I guess you could say. I specialize in massive fight scenes. I won’t tell you that I am amazing at them, but I’m comfortable writing them. So, the first was the equivalent of a preachy story set in a desert, and the second was the equivalent of a big, dumb action movie. Except it was even worse.

Which did I pick? I picked the preachy story. Except, I rewrote the heck out of it until it wasn’t very preachy anymore. That short story ended up being called Rakhul. So, once everything was edited, I sent it off to be judged.

It was time to be patient. Like I said, I am not patient. So, when the editors kept pushing the release date – understandably so, considering the massive amount of submissions – I was banging my head against the wall. I tried to write away my problems, but the waiting was killing me. So, at the three month mark, I decided to forget about it. Any time I read about the anthology’s results – I ignored it. I was determined to wait until the official results were in. And guess what… I did forget about it. So much so that I forgot about the short story I wrote for it. Eventually, I found out about the results, and I wasn’t accepted. I wasn’t even on the short list. I was, of course, disappointed. But, I had discovered two things. How to deal with disappointment, and how to deal with waiting.

So, maybe a month after that, I submitted to a literary agency. I was in love with the literary agency, because it was the agency that handled one of my favorite authors – Brent Weeks. So, I bookmarked the site, and I’d read all the rules, and I’d read all the books of their clients. (Yeah, he was REALLY in love with it.) I submitted my story, and maybe three weeks later, I see an email in my Junk folder. I open it, and it’s Donald Maass’s rejection letter.

A few minutes later, after telling the news to my family, I make the joke: “My email’s so thoughtful. It sent the rejection letter directly to Junk because it was trying to protect my feelings.”

Thank you, Gmail, but I’m glad I found out about the news. Because, I knew going into this business that there would be a lot of disappointment. And I managed to hone the “waiting” skill even more. I still wasn’t very patient, but I was a master at forgetting about ever having submitted anything. (Wow, so your horrible memory pays off…)

That brings us to todays waiting game. I submitted my story, Radio Silence, to be serialized about a month and a half ago. And, I still haven’t received word about it.

Image

Originally, I captured the cover in that screenshot as well, but I decided to cut that out. HA! I know, I’m quite devious like that. I promise I’ll unveil it soon, but not just yet. Anyways, as you can see the status is Pending. The word ‘pending’ has never looked quite so ominous to me ’till now.

This was even harder to forget about than my submission to the literary agency. Why? Because the odds aren’t so high against my favor this time. This time, I was confident in my story. The cover is awesome, because my sister took a great picture and slapped my name on it. So, the chances of me being accepted are quite high and in my favor.

The simple fact that they haven’t even rejected or accepted me after a month and a half is excruciating. But, everything that’s happened in my past as a writer has paid off. I’m still not patient, but every now and then.. I completely forget about this serialization. I only remember it right before the day ends so I can check if my status is still pending. Then I forget about it and go to sleep.

So, what am I saying? To forget about it? No, that may not suit your tastes. But don’t dwell on it. The trick to the waiting game is cheating and not waiting at all. How can you wait for something if you’re not even thinking about it most of the time?

You can’t do anything ’till then, so it’s best to simply… move on. Move on like you’ve already been either accepted or rejected or like you didn’t even submit in the first place. My advice? Cheat the waiting game, and win at the end.

Right now, I’m not sure if my status may be ACCEPTED or REJECTED in a month or so. But, this has taught me something. After going through such pains and measures, I will not let my stories go to waste. Even if Radio Silence isn’t accepted, I will still post the cover on my blog, and I will most likely make any and future chapters available to read.

I am doing the same with Rakhul. So, yeah. Make the best out of it, and you’ll basically be pointing and laughing at the Waiting Game… while it cries and sulks in the corner. Yeah.

Thanks!

P.S: Just to note, if you’ve yet to read my previous post, any time I write about writing in general, I will also write an accompanying review of a book/movie/television series. It’s to make up for the fact that I no longer write blogposts as often as I used to. Please remember to Like, Follow, and Comment. Hopefully, all three. And thanks again!

~J.A. Romano

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Comments
  1. Erica Dakin says:

    I so sympathise with the impatience… I’m exactly like that as well. I’m waiting for different things (reviews at the moment, mainly), but yeah, every time you check and there’s nothing… Argh!

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Yeah, it’s both infuriating and disheartening at the same time. xD I’m still going through that moment right now, since I’m horrible at taking my own advice. I’m trying desperately to forget about it, but it gets harder and harder the longer it takes. Good luck with those reviews, though. I hope you killed ’em… in a good way. : )

      Thanks for commenting, and hopefully Liking. : P

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Thank you very much! I wouldn’t be following yours if I didn’t actually like romance a lot… and didn’t read more romance novels than “serious” novels. xD

      • Erica Dakin says:

        Hey, romance is a serious business! 😉 And you may be in for a treat – I’ve literally just started posting up a romance as a serial. I hope you like, and please share the love if you do!

  2. dotdotquote says:

    I entered the FF contest too. I wrote mine months in advance to give myself time to let it “sit” before coming back to it. Unfortunately right around the deadline time I fell quite badly ill and while I submitted it, it was a rushed, unpleasant mess.

    I guess then, there wasn’t any reason to wait; I knew my submission wasn’t great. In truth, I was more gutted that I wasn’t able to do a better job and that I hadn’t signed up for the feedback. (Although the story was a mess, so I didn’t really feel any feedback would help).

    It was also a short story and for the life of me I cannot write shorts. Ironic really, because I’m not a waffling, exposition-dumping writer. My first draft its CRAWLING its way towards the 100k golden mark (although I have a lot that needs adding in a second draft).

    I’m getting off topic now, so I expect waiting is a pain. I haven’t exactly finished anything anywhere near ready for submission and probably won’t be ready until the end of this year/next year at the very least.

    • J.A. Romano says:

      I know the feeling. I’ve been working on the Line of Corruption for ages now, but I still have a ways to go in the editing department. Good luck on the 100k, though. I was absolutely ecstatic when I reached 100k words. I remember it distinctly because that was when my Word stopped counting the words. xD

  3. tktrian says:

    So no news so far, about the pubbing of Radio Silence? Ugh, I wish we were at the point where we could actually submit Solus somewhere, but it just takes so much work! We’ve had the hell critted out of it, especially the beginning, and seems like there’s always something to fix. I know we gotta let it go at some point, but it must be as perfect as possible by the time we either self-pub or submit it to agents.
    T&K

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Oh, I sympathize with you there. LoC is still far from the best it can be.

      Since I wrote Radio Silence only recently, the mistakes aren’t as plentiful as in LoC. But, my mom and sis still edited a whole lot of stuff in it. I’ve actually just re-submitted Radio Silence because they have a specific format.

      It was kind of difficult to actually re-submit Radio Silence, since there was that feeling that this was the final chance I had. So, I was a lot more panicked than when I first submitted it. : P

      • tktrian says:

        Well, I hope you get it published 🙂 the problem with us is that we can’t write short stories or even short-ish novels. They are supernovels! And that’s very difficult to market. We do have this one series almost written but not revised about a cataclysm of sorts that befalls the world: most of the people have disappeared and then those who haven’t try to find out what’s happened and why they were spared. It’s an urban fantasy/mystery type of a thing. Probably the most marketable cos the volumes are short, but now we want to work on Solus, so… 😛

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