Part of Being an Author is Waiting

Vizzini from Princess Bride

Vizzini from Princess Bride

One thing I never expected when I set out to become an author was that there would be a lot of waiting.  After a decade of designing characters and stories whenever the urge came to me, I didn’t realize how much patience was needed.  Here’s a quick list of things an author could wait for:

  • Inspiration
  • Time to write
  • Beta Readers
  • Editing
  • Cover Art
  • Reviews
  • Sales
  • Pizza (food is important)
  • Internet to return

Patience is definitely important here because you don’t want to rush any of these things, with the possible exception of the Internet.  Sloppy editing, forced writing, half-baked ideas, and barely cooked pizza are all disastrous.  It isn’t only that you can make a mistake, but you can cause other people to do so and only have yourself to blame.  As the author of the book, you set the pace and call the shots.  Yet, you also need to adjust for the people you’re working with because they are people.  Robots can be reprogrammed to move faster.  Try doing that to your beta readers and see how quickly you get tarred and feathered with your own manuscript.

I’m joking around while trying to be serious, but it’s a rather simple piece of the author mosaic.  The truth is that this is different for everyone.  All of us have our own levels of patience and opinions on this one.  So, I’ll open the floor to stories and thoughts on how important patience is to you.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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28 Responses to Part of Being an Author is Waiting

  1. Great way of looking at it. I’ve learned to aim high and keep my mouth shut until it’s time. I get covers and promo art way ahead of time. I gave betas over a month, but was honest about the time frame. After everything is back under my control I start talking about a release once again.

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  2. Darlene says:

    The patience thing is hard for me too. But I am learning.

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  3. An absolutely excellent point, and not one I generally think about during writing, but one that becomes very, very near and dear to my heart once the editing and publishing phases arrive. Patience is required in spades when waiting for your editor to get back to you with their edits — patience, and optimism, because if you sit there imagining all the endless rewrites your editor will demand of you, it’s just depressing. And, like you said, patience with publishing — but I want my book to be a best seller NOW, dammit!

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  4. Rachel says:

    Patience is something I tell people I don’t have. But I actually have a lot more of it then I seem to have. When it comes to writing, though… I want written, lol.

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  5. L. Marie says:

    The timing of this post is very interesting, since I’m waiting on a publisher to make a decision on own novel and two agents to decide on another. Turning my attention to other projects during the wait has been very helpful.

    Patience is definitely not a trait I have in abundance. Anyone who has been in my car with me knows this. 🙂 But it has been necessary as I work through some plot issues or edit someone else’s book.

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  6. L. Marie says:

    Make that “on my novel” rather than “on own novel.” I should have been more patient and proofread before pressing Post Comment.

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  7. adeleulnais says:

    I`m a very impatient person, waiting has always been a disaster for me but I am learning that I have to be a patient writer or else I`ll fail in my goals.

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  8. I have the patience of Job. I only learned that after my first book. Yes, I wait for artists, editors, formatters, beta readers, the mail person, UPS, Federal Express, and finally buyers of my books. I have become the paragon of patience. In all my previous lives of rushing around, I now find a certain calm in watching the little gizmo go round and round on my computer. I wait with the best. . “What’s that?” “Why yes, I’ll take another refill on my glass of wine. Thank you.”

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  9. I’m impatient when my work is out for editing. I just want to get it back and get it over with. My editor is pretty quick and a dear friend so I don’t text her when I see that she’s on Facebook saying she’s out to dinner or at a show. I want to, but I don’t.

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  10. “Wait” is a four-letter word.

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