The art of patience
Although my title suggests I’m about to give you tips on how to live through that awful period of “radio silence” when your editor is giving a final polish to your book and you have no publication date yet but many people asking when they can see your creation, I’m afraid I can’t do that. I can only tell you there is no “art” involved with patience. Only fingernail biting and finding ways to keep going instead of losing steam or getting angry with promises that don’t arrive when you expect them.
Patience, as the saying goes, is a virtue, and one that doesn’t come naturally to most of us.
You’ve spent every free moment for the last year and a half writing, squeezed out as much material as you can from the cells in your brain that birth creativity, put feelings and emotions you didn’t know you had into your work. So why do you have to wait to share it with the world?
I say it’s because you are not writing just for yourself, but for your readers. If you care enough about what you do to want to get it into the hands of the right audience – the people who feel something similar to what you felt when you created your masterpiece in the first place – you have to take the right steps. In the publishing world, that means waiting for the decision makers – editors, production people, then the marketing staff – to do their jobs and do them right. They are in the business to make money and if you’ve placed your creation in their hands and they asked for a contract, that means they believe in your project. But they need time to make it happen.
Only a handful of artists are lucky enough not be forced to play the waiting game, and that handful probably doesn’t appreciate success to the degree that you will if you stick it out. The important thing is to never give up.
And while you’re waiting, work on the less polished aspects of your art. Finish that second book; write a short story; start a blog. You’re supposed to be an artist, and that means, you’re supposed to love the journey as much as the destination. If you’re awaiting arrival at the next station, just remember your can always distract yourself by working on a side trip.